Every four years, Olympians wade through tough competition to win or lose millions of hearts and a medal. But as it happens, while they are winning people’s hearts through their awe-inspiring performances, they lose their hearts to fellow athletes.
There have been several stories of people meeting on the Olympic grounds and falling in love, some come and propose to their lovers on the podium, and there has also been a case where the athletes decided to get married as soon as the competition ended.
In this blog, we are going to tell you about 5 amazing love stories that blossomed during the Olympics and were held ever after.
1. Katerina and Matt Emmons and the Shooting Miss
Matt Emmons, an American rifle shooter was just on the verge of winning a gold in the 50-meter three-position event at the 2004 Athens Olympics. All ready for the gold, the athlete accidentally shot the target of a competitor next to him. The mistake not only cost him the gold but also made him exit the particular event.
While introspecting about his loss at the nearby beer garden, Czech shooter Katerina Kurkova came up to him with her father to congratulate him on his skill and admired him for the way he handled the loss. Katerina gave him a four-leaf clover keychain as a token of sharing her good luck.
Few years down the line, Matt and Katerina tight the knot in 2007 and are an Olympic couple that will inspire millions of others with their love story.
In a 2016 interview, Matt Emmons said that the 2004 loss was the best thing that ever happened to him.
2. Queen Harrison-Claye and Will Claye and the ‘Accidental’ Drop
Olympians Will Claye, the American triple jumper was a bit confused during the 2016 Rio Olympics and didn’t when he should ask his then-girlfriend Queen Harrison, the American hurdler, to marry her.
On the morning of his triple jump competition, Will Claye decided that it has to be done today and with a style only an Olympian can. Queen Harrison had missed the qualification round for the Rio Olympics and was watching the event from the stands.
As soon as Claye won the silver, he ran into the stands to get down on one knee and propose his love. Harrison first thought that he had ‘accidentally’ dropped something and was picking it up. And Claye just won her heart and millions of others with a proposal of staying together through life and through thick and thin.
The two stars got married in 2018 and continued to pursue their dreams of Olympic gold.
3. Mirka and Roger Federer and the First Move
Roger Federer is now a legend and an incomparable star in the world of tennis. But before this all happened, he was just a 19-year-old Olympian at the 2000 Olympics with big dreams to pursue and a lost heart to follow.
Roger Federer and Mirka Vavrinec were both representing Switzerland in the 2000 Olympics in tennis. Roger found himself getting attracted to the fellow athlete and spending more time with her. All their fellow athletes saw through this, and a wrestler came forward to nudge Roger into making the first move.
Shy and unsure Roger Federer somehow gathered the courage to say what he had in his heart. Roger and Mirka got married in 2009 and now they are proud parents of two sets of twins.
4. Nikolai Prodanov and Diana Yorgova and the Olympic Wedding
People have fallen in love during the Olympics. They have popped the question during the Olympics. But Nikolai Prodanov and Diana Yorgova took it to another level that too more than 50 years back.
Nikolai Prodanov, a gymnast from Bulgaria, and Diana Yorgova, a long jumper, had long been in love and had already picked a date for their wedding months after that 1964 Olympics that took place in Tokyo.
Upon hearing about the love birds in Bulgaria’s Olympic delegation, a Bulgarian diplomat gave them an opportunity of a lifetime. Nikolai and Diana were asked if they would like to get married in the Tokyo Olympic village after they are done with their respective competitions.
It was a bit of a shock for both the athletes. Although there was the happiness of getting married at a historic event and becoming a part of history, they were a bit sad because of the absence of their friends and family.
Nevertheless, Nikolai and Diana accepted the offer and got married in front of the Olympic flag at the Yoyogi Olympic Village International Club. They then drank sake and took the bullet train towards Kyoto and Osaka for their honeymoon.
The couple celebrated their 56th wedding anniversary last year and now have four grandchildren from their two children.
Diana Yorgova told the reporters during an interview that it was a surreal experience and they felt like a prince and princess from a fairy tale.
5. Sue Bird and Megan Rapinoe and the Loving Engagement
Sue Bird, the nine-time WNBA All-Star with four Olympic medals and two championship rings, had never met Megan Rapinoe who led the US to Olympic golds in 2012 and a world cup win in 2015.
They met at a media event leading to the 2016 summer Olympics, chatted a bit, and went on their way. In Brazil, they started sharing Instagram messages and spent time together during the victory party of the US women’s basketball team.
Sue Bird’s teammate later revealed that she couldn’t stop herself gravitating towards Megan during the party ignoring everyone around.
Few months down the line they were meeting for drinks and soon got engaged in a simple ceremony. Megan Rapinoe later revealed on NBC’s “The Tonight’s Show” that she wasn’t sure what to do but as soon as the right moment presented itself, she took one of her rings off from her fingers and gave it to Sue. Love is amazing. And even if you are the most popular Olympian of all time, it can still change your life for the better!