Argentinian fencer Maria Belen Perez Maurice just lost her shot at a gold medal in the Tokyo Olympics. But one question turned her big defeat into an incredible victory.
On Monday, the world No. 27 lost to Hungary’s Anna Marton 15-12. In her post-match interview, the New York Post reports, Perez Maurice started taking questions from the press about her loss. Behind her, the fencer’s coach and partner of 17 years crept up behind her with a handwritten sign. In Spanish, the sign read, “Do you want to marry me? Please.”
CNN reports that Perez Maurice turned around, read the sign, and screamed as Lucas Guillermo Saucedo got down on one knee. You can see the sign for yourself in the New York Post’s tweet below.
Argentinian Fencer Reacts To Marriage Proposal At 2020 Tokyo Olympics
“They (the press) told me to turn around and he had the letter,” the Olympics competitor said. “I forgot everything. I was like, ‘Oh my God.'”
Apparently, this isn’t the first time Saucedo has proposed to Perez Maurice after a competition. CNN reports that the Olympics fencing coach asked her to marry him after the 2010 World Fencing Championships in Paris. She rejected him at the time, saying, “I am young.”
But the premature proposal never put a damper on their relationship. Perez Maurice revealed after her current proposal that the two are “very happy.”
“We are very good partners. Of course, we have fights, but we enjoy each other’s time. We love each other so much, and we want to spend our lives together,” the Argentinian fencer said. She added that as soon they finished quarantining, they would go home to Buenos Aires to celebrate with a “big barbecue.”
Saucedo’s decision to propose after Perez Maurice’s loss was spur of the moment. He felt the time was right after her spirits had sunk.
“I love her, and when she lost the match she got very sad, so maybe this proposal should change her mentality,” he said. “I wrote on the paper in the moment. If she had won, no, I would have waited for the moment.”
To pull the proposal off, Saucedo asked when one of the volunteers at the Tokyo Olympics for some paper to write on. Initially, the volunteer said no, but eventually he agreed — only after Saucedo offered him an Olympic pin.
Fans React To Couple’s Happy News
After several news sites shared the proposal on Twitter, Olympics fans sounded off with their congratulations to the couple.
“So she still got gold!!! Good luck and congratulations,” one Twitter user wrote.
Another said, “What a proposal…an Olympic one!”
Other fans, however, disapproved of the timing of the proposal. Twitter user Thari said, “Why do men continue to kidnap women’s achievements. Ugh.”
“This is not cool. He definitely tried to steal her spotlight. And so low effort, scribbled on paper?!?! Are you kidding me?” one Twitter user wrote.
“This would just make my loss worse,” another fan said.