The road to a marriage proposal can be a long and winding one. For two Slovakian athletes, the journey was exactly 35 kilometers long.
Both Dominik Černý and Hana Burzalova were in Budapest, Hungary, competing for their country in the race walking events for men and women at the World Athletics Championships.
The two races took place simultaneously on Thursday, with Černý finishing 19th in the men’s race with a personal-best time of 2:32:56, about eight minutes behind gold medalist Álvaro Martín.
But Černý had an altogether different golden moment on his mind.
When Burzalova crossed the line later with her season-best time of 3:02:47 in 28th position of the women’s race, she appeared shocked to find Černý on one knee with a ring in one hand in a touching proposal.
An exhausted and surprised Burzalova said yes, not before stopping the timer on her watch though. Černý celebrated with a fist pump to the sky after slipping the ring onto the 22-year-old’s finger.
The newly-engaged couple shared a kiss to mark the moment, with an arm aloft, before Černý – literally – whisked his fiancée away in his arms.
The couple posed for photos shortly afterwards, with Burzalova proudly showing off her new ring for the cameras.
They might have not won any medals in their respective race walking events, but both Černý and Burzalova will travel home with a much more meaningful memento.