London Olympic Stadium marriage proposal in front of 20,000 crowd
A man has proposed marriage to his girlfriend in front of 20,000 people at London’s Olympic Stadium – and she said “yes”.
Charity mascot Wendell Raphael was shown onto a stage and his face beamed onto a big screen, after participating in a parade around the ground.
Thanking his girlfriend for her support of his charity work, Mr Raphael, 40, dressed as a super hero, then said: “This is not an April Fool. Bindi Bhambra, will you marry me?”
She was shown in tears watching from her seat and, to applause from the crowds, nodded her head to say “yes” as the words “She said yes!” flashed onto the screens.
Mr Raphael, known as Raph, said: “When it was confirmed I’d be taking part in the parade two weeks ago, I knew I wanted to propose in front of all these people here today.”
He met his fiancee, a 35-year-old teacher from Bristol, on a dating website six months ago.
Mr Raphael, an IT worker originally from Port of Spain, Trinidad, and now living in New Cross, London, also took part in a race at the new stadium during today’s Gold Challenge charity test event.
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He acts as mascot Super Donor Dan - wearing a red outfit and matching cape - for the African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust to raise awareness of blood and bone marrow donation, and donated a kidney to a friend in 2007.
Asked when the wedding might be, he said with a smile: “I want her surname to be Raphael as soon as possible.”
The Gold Challenge sees members of the public compete alongside celebrities and sporting stars.
Miss Bhambra said she has ruled out this summer for their wedding - as her new fiance is carrying the Olympic Torch in Hackney, two days before the games begin, and also taking part in the opening ceremony. Summer 2013 is the likely date instead.
Describing the moment of the proposal, she said: “It was a complete and utter surprise. I saw him in the parade and then all of a sudden he was gone - then I saw him on the big screen.
“I was crying then, because he does so much for charity and I thought that’s what he was there for.
“When he proposed, I was bawling tears. I was just amazed - I feel so blessed.
“I always knew I was going to marry him. I just knew.
“I couldn’t find him for 15 minutes afterwards, and it felt like such a long time. When I saw him, I couldn’t speak. It made me cry again.”