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Love is in the air on the athletics track at the Tokyo Paralympics

Keula Nidreia Pereira Semedo was proposed to by her guide on track
Guide Manuel Antonio Vaz da Veiga on one knee proposes to Keula Nidreia Pereira Semedo of Cape Verde in front of other athletes after competing

Cape Verde Paralympian Keula Nidreia Pereira Semedo was all smiles after her T11 200m heat, despite coming in last and missing the semi-finals.

Immediately after the race, Manuel Antonio Vaz de Vega, her guide and life partner, dropped to one knee on the track and asked Semedo to marry him, reported the Mirror.

Vaz de Vega asked the other competitors to join him in this special moment as he ran over to Semedo, who has a visual disability and was wearing a blindfold at the time.

To the cheers of everyone in the National Stadium, 32-year-old Semedo said yes, showing off her ring to the cameras.

The Paralympic sprinter had said that her guide was the biggest influence on her career.

Semedo began competing in athletics at age 15 after one of her teachers encouraged her to try the sport. She was given the Medal of Sports Merit from her national government before leaving Cape Verde.

In the early 2010s, Semedo moved to Portugal with her mother to be closer to her father who was working in Europe. She didn’t compete again until 2012, after taking a break to settle into their new home.

She received a diploma in physiotherapy in Lisbon and describes herself as a digital influencer.

This was not the first engagement at the Olympics or Paralympics in Tokyo – Argentine fencer Maria Belen Perez Maurice accepted a proposal from Lucas Guillermo Saucedo, her coach and life partner of 17 years, at the Games in late July.

Shortly after failing to advance in her sport, Saucedo passed a handwritten note to Perez Maurice, that read, ‘Will you marry me? Please’.

This was the second time Saucedo had asked for Perez Maurice’s hand in marriage – she turned down his proposal at the World Fencing Championships in 2010.

Eleven years later, Saucedo tried again and was overjoyed when Perez Maurice said yes.

Saucedo revealed he had asked an Olympic volunteer for a sheet of paper to write the proposal on, but the volunteer declined his request – that is, until the coach offered to trade an Olympic pin for the paper.

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