She said yes: Claye proposes after taking Olympic silver

United States' Will Claye reacts after an attempt in the men's triple jump final during the athletics competitions in the Olympic stadium of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
United States' Will Claye reacts after an attempt in the men's triple jump final during the athletics competitions of the 2016 Summer Olympics at the Olympic stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
United States' silver medal winner Will Claye, left, and United States' gold medal winner Christian Taylor pose with U.S. flags after the men's triple jump final, during the athletics competitions in the Olympic stadium of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
United States' Will Claye celebrates with the U.S. flag after winning the silver in the men's triple jump final during the athletics competitions in the Olympic stadium of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
United States' Will Claye makes an attempt in the men's triple jump final during the athletics competitions of the 2016 Summer Olympics at the Olympic stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
United States' Will Claye climbs back after proposing to his girl friend on the stands after winning the silver medal in the men's triple jump final during the athletics competitions in the Olympic stadium of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

RIO DE JANEIRO — Will Claye kept a close watch on his backpack while he competed in the Olympic triple jump.

With good reason: It had a diamond ring in it.

Moments after earning a silver medal Tuesday, Claye bounded into the stands, dropped to a knee and proposed to his longtime girlfriend, hurdler Queen Harrison.

She said yes.

A medal and a marriage proposal — now that's quite a day.

"When I woke up this morning I was like, 'Today is going to be the best day of my life,'" said Claye, who finished behind good friend Christian Taylor, as the two Americans went 1-2 for a second straight Summer Games. "I'm going to go out there and do what I have to do on the track first and I am going to make her my fiancée after that."

Claye said his focus was only on the competition, even given the surprise he was about to spring. It had to be that way to keep up with Taylor, who jumped 17.86 meters on his first attempt — a distance that held up. Claye went 17.76 and China's Dong Bin jumped 17.58 for bronze.

Taylor and Claye have had a robust rivalry for years after being teammates at the University of Florida.

"It's just who executes on that day better," Claye said. "We're equally talented."

On the track, the stage belonged to Taylor. Afterward, Claye took it over.

Claye climbed up a railing and was helped up a wall. It was a complete surprise to Taylor where Claye was going, but the champion was impressed that Claye had anything left to even climb into the stands.

"I turned around and saw him over there and everyone's saying, 'Aww,'" Taylor said. "The camera zoomed in and I saw what was going on."

There was the 25-year-old Claye, who, unbeknownst to everyone but two of Harrison's closest friends, was dropping to a knee. His family was just as shocked.

"They were like, 'Man, you're slick,'" Claye said. "No one knew. It was pretty cool."

Only two days earlier, China's He Zi had the silver medal slipped around her neck when her boyfriend pulled out a ring and asked her to marry him. Last week, after a rugby match, the girlfriend of Brazilian player Isadora Cerullo went down to the field and asked Cerullo to marry her. Another proposal happened at race walking.

Claye made Harrison cry with his impromptu proposal.

"I told her she was my best friend. I told her she was my rib. I told her I want to grow old with her," Claye recounted. "I want her to be by my side for the rest of my life. She's helped me to grow into the man I am today."

Claye had the ring designed before Olympic trials earlier this summer, but had no idea when — or even how — he was going to ask her. Rio de Janeiro seemed like as good of place as any.

Harrison was in the stands after not qualifying at the Olympic trials. But she wanted to be there for Claye. She wore her "Will Power" T-shirt. It looked good with the diamond.

You may also interested in

Australian car-making ends with last GM plant...

Oct 20, 2017

The last mass-produced car designed and built in Australia has rolled off General Motors Co.'s...

Australian prime minister rushes gay marriage...

Dec 8, 2017

Australia's prime minister rushed gay marriage into law by gaining a final signature on the bill...

Gay marriage becomes law in Australia; weddings...

Dec 8, 2017

Gay marriage in Australia has become a law as the prime minister gained a final signature on a bill...

The Latest: Melbourne police say no sign of...

Dec 21, 2017

Australian police say there is no evidence of a terrorist link to a car ramming attack in central...

Woods says he's on the 'other side' of pain,...

Nov 28, 2017

Tiger Woods says he is on the other side of relying on pain medication to cope with an ailing back...

People also read these

Hospitality done: It's nearly game time for...

Aug 25, 2017

Stanford and Rice are nearly ready to kick off the 2017 college football season in Sydney, Australia

Australian leader seeks help for tourists...

Nov 29, 2017

Australia's prime minister says he is discussing with his government how to help thousands of...

The Latest: Melbourne police say no sign of...

Dec 21, 2017

Australian police say there is no evidence of a terrorist link to a car ramming attack in central...

Australia win final Ashes test to clinch series...

Jan 8, 2018

Australia thrashed England by an innings and 123 runs to win the fifth and final Ashes test at the...

For many viewers, the (sexist) games have indeed...

Aug 11, 2016

For many viewers, the (sexist) games have indeed begun

Diver Haven is brought to you by a team of tech-savvy diving enthusiasts. Diver of all walks of life be it recreational to professional, scuba or freedivers are always welcome.

Contact us: sales@diverhaven.com