Paralympian Keula Nidreia Pereira Semedo of Cape Verde may not be returning home from the Paralympics with a medal, but she won’t be leaving Tokyo empty-handed. After the visually-impaired sprinter failed to advance out of the women’s 200m T11 qualifying heat, her guide and boyfriend Manuel Antonio Vaz da Veiga got down on one knee in a touching marriage proposal after the pair crossed the finish line.
💍He *the guide* put a ring on it 💍
💕Guide proposed to 🇨🇻 Cape Verde Para athlete after the 200m T11 heats.
👰🏾♀️ + 🤵🏾♂️ Keula Nidreia Pereira Semedo & Manuel Antonio Vaz de Veiga #ParaAthletics #Paralympics #Tokyo2020
— #ParaAthletics (@ParaAthletics) September 2, 2021
Semedo has been competing since 2005, and Vaz da Veiga thought the track, which was he describes as “her second home,” was the best place to pop the question. “We have been together in a relationship for 11 years, so I thought it was about time to come up with a proposal. So why not do it?”
Semedo tearfully accepted the proposal while her fellow competitors applauded the happy couple. Visually impaired runners compete with a guide who’s attached to them by a tether, so it’s safe to say the pair had formed a very special bond over the years of training and competing together.
“With the proposal, there’s just too many emotions going on right now,” Semedo said in a post-race interview. “I don’t have words to explain how I feel. I am sure our parents will go crazy. They will like it. These were my first Paralympic Games and with my age and speed, I was actually thinking about stopping afterward. But now I have an additional motivation to carry on after the Games, always with him by my side.”