In the soggy Olympic Stadium on Thursday, Cape Verde’s Keula Semedo failed to qualify for the women’s T11 200m semifinals — but there was a surprise consolation.
After the race, her guide runner Manuel Antonio Vaz da Veiga got down on one knee and proposed.
Video of the special moment showed both athletes beaming as Semedo accepted.
Vaz de Veiga revealed afterwards that he’d been planning the proposal since his bride-to-be was selected for the Cape Verde squad in July.
“I thought this was the best occasion and the best place to do it,” he said.
And Semedo said she had been considering retiring, but the proposal made her rethink.
“Now I have an additional motivation to carry on after the games, always with him by my side.”
Tokyo bid a colourful farewell to the paralympics on Sunday after 12 days of stereotype-defying, record-shattering performances despite a year-long pandemic delay.
International Paralympic Committee chief Andrew Parsons declared the Games closed on a cool night in the Olympic Stadium, saying they had “not just been historic, they’ve been fantastic”.
It was a games like no other, postponed a year because of the pandemic and dogged by difficulties and low public support in the build-up.
But the action did not disappoint when it got underway, with a record 86 teams winning medals and 62 claiming at least one gold.