Athletes Get Engaged in Rio Summer Olympics

October 16, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1.  proposal / prəˈpoʊ zəl / (n.) – an offer to get married
Example: Many couples do their proposal in public these days.

2. Olympian / əˈlɪm·pi·ən / (n.) – an athlete in the Olympics
Example: One of my ambitions is to become an Olympian and make my country proud.

3. engaged / ɛnˈgeɪdʒd / (adj.) – promised to be married
ExampleEngaged couples get really busy preparing for their wedding.

4. spark / spɑrk / (v.) – to cause (something) to happen
Example: The country’s bid to become the host of the next Olympics sparked many people’s interest.

5. obsession / əbˈsɛʃ ən / (n.) – a state in which a person is thinking about someone or something too much
Example: Some parents think that their teenage children’s obsession with social media causes a problem.


Read the text below.
During the 2016 Rio Olympics, a total of five athletes got engaged to their partners, and most of them received the proposal after an important match.

He Zi [HAH tsi], a female diver from China, received a marriage proposal from her boyfriend and fellow Olympian Qin Kai [chin key] after winning a silver medal. Just before the proposal, He competed in the three-meter springboard final match. To He’s surprise, Qin presented her with an engagement ring during the awarding of her silver medal, in front of a huge audience. The female diver then accepted the proposal.

Prior to Qin and He’s engagement, Brazilian rugby player Isadora Cerullo and her girlfriend, an Olympic volunteer, announced their engagement. The proposal took place just three days after the opening ceremony of the Games. American track and field athlete William Claye [KLEY] also asked his girlfriend Queen Harrison to marry him moments after he finished second place in the men’s triple jump.

The Olympic love stories sparked some people’s interest in public proposals. Several commenters gave their opinion on social media and news outlets. One of the commenters is columnist Bryony Gordon /ˈbraɪ ə ni ˈgɔr dn/ who wrote an article for the UK newspaper Telegraph. In the article, she talked about the rise of romance and the public displays of affection during the recent Olympics.

According to experts, the tendency to share intimate moments with the world, such as marriage proposals, usually comes from people’s social media obsession. One online article also pointed out that public proposals are increasing due to the influence of romantic films. Lisa Hoplock, a doctor of philosophy in marriage, said some people assume that their partners want a very public proposal because it is what they see on television.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think the proposals in the Olympics took people’s attention away from the Games? Why or why not?
·         Do you agree that social media and romantic movies brought about the growing number of public marriage proposals? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         What do you think is good about a public marriage proposal? Explain.
·         Which kind of proposal do you prefer—public or private? Why?

October 16, 2016