Olympic torchbearer stops mid-relay, proposes

Chris Radburn / AP

Olympic relay torchbearer David State stops midway through his run to propose to his girlfriend, Christine Langham, before continuing the relay.

The Olympic flame sparked a romantic moment Monday when torchbearer David State stopped midway through his relay to propose to his girlfriend, eliciting rounds of cheers from the surrounding crowd. 

State, 25, was running between Marske-by-the-Sea and his hometown of Loftus, England when he stopped to embrace his girlfriend, Christine Langham, 25. Langham, who is eight months pregnant, said she had no idea State was stopping to propose.

She told the BBC, "I saw him running up the hill and I was pretty proud at that. I was trying not to cry. And then he gave his torch to somebody and gave me a cuddle, which was nice, and then he got down on one knee and I nearly passed out. Nearly had my baby there and then."  

Shortly after finishing the race, State told reporters that the proposal was “absolutely amazing,” and called it a very special moment. He had secretly planned the proposal with the relay organizers. 

Watch the moving proposal here:

According to State’s official nomination story, he is a active member of his community, helping with social programs designed to improve the quality of life for people in his community. In the last ten years, he has raised nearly $16,000 for charity, a number he has been hoping to increase this year with the completion of four more charity runs. He also volunteers with the British Red Cross and his local police department where he fights “crime and anti-social behavior.”

The Olympic flame has been on a journey across the UK as part of its 8,000-mile trek. Thousands of inspirational people were chosen from across the UK to carry the flame, all nominated by their own friends and family. 

State, a committed athlete, said he had to keep running with the torch soon after he popped the question to Langham. “I think the words 'I've got to go' came out of my mouth as soon as I proposed," he said.

More: A batch of beach comes to London for Olympics 
Olympic torchbearer completes 41st triathlon at age 91 
Fashion lover Ryan Lochte has 130 pairs of shoes 
Mayor: London will cope 'very well' with Olympics 


Discuss this post

Sry I misread report so i deleted what i had typed earlier.

    Reply#1 - Mon Jun 18, 2012 5:51 PM EDT

    Nice. Forget the fact that the carrying of the torch is supposed to be a serious event and not a circus. Seems to me he put the cart before the horse. 8 months preggers? Way to wait until almost the last minute. Maybe now we can go back to actual Olympic athletes carrying the torch and not some moron off the street.

    • 2 votes
    Reply#2 - Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:03 PM EDT

    I too frown on this guy taking advantage of a situation that is really not of his making but rather an honor granted to him to represent the world as a whole. It's not about him, his pregnant girl friend, or the poor baby soon to be born, most likely without a legally married father. Great example for the world. Maybe typical . . . .

    • 2 votes
    Reply#3 - Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:58 PM EDT

    I agree with the others too....this was not "his" moment. It was the world's and it was not the time or the place to propose!!! Tacky, insensitive, and rude!!!

    • 3 votes
    Reply#4 - Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:58 AM EDT

    I absolutely disagree. What better way to tell THE WHOLE WORLD that you love someone and you want to marry them ?

    BTW, she said yes, do you need more proof that he was right in the proposal ?

      #4.1 - Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:54 AM EDT

      You're swimming upstream on this one. You don't need a public forum to express love. The guys a douche.

        #4.2 - Tue Jul 17, 2012 11:52 AM EDT

        Many happy returns for the engaged couple. May they find peace and happiness in the future. May the new life they are bringing into the world do well and succeed.

        Everyone likes a delightful surprise, and this one is for the books. I can't think of many things that will be remembered so pleasantly. Congratulations.

        • 2 votes
        Reply#5 - Tue Jun 19, 2012 11:23 AM EDT

        I remember with very happy memories, when my husband proposed to me. And it wasn't during the Olympic torch run!

        Tacky, tacky, tacky on his part. This wasn't about him.

        • 2 votes
        #5.1 - Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:43 PM EDT

        Congratulations to the couple... but that was inappropriate.

        • 3 votes
        Reply#6 - Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:08 PM EDT

        Guess I'm an old fogey. It seems a lot of people think it's important to make their proposals public. These public spectacles are all over the tv and internet. What ever happened to decorum and privacy? I wouldn't have wanted a bunch of strangers watching and listening to our special moment.

        • 2 votes
        Reply#7 - Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:24 PM EDT

        Yeah, Oldtime and Jonathan, I'm with you. How awful to make such a spectacle when the girl is 8 months pregnant!

        But this I have learned lately that this is a national trend. Men may want to be certain their girlfriends are fertile before committing. Awfully low expectations to take into a marriage I think. "My husband only married me after he knew I was fertile. Apparently I was never going to be enough for him. He required a child to love me." And later they'll wonder why it didn't last. Women are back to being wombs for hire.

          Reply#8 - Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:03 PM EDT

          Phooey on you negative negative people! What does running with a torch really represent? I mean REALLY. I could careless. I think what he did was romantic. Women like to be the center of attention and it was great that he organized this moment so his girlfriend...now fiance...could have just that. I've seen SO many worse things occur. Let's focus on trying to better the world and stop whining when people are actually doing something positive.

          I say CONGRATULATIONS to the both of them and I wish them ALL the BEST!!!!

          • 1 vote
          Reply#9 - Thu Jun 21, 2012 4:16 PM EDT

          As a former Olympic Torchbearer, I can tell you that it is a serious offense to stop moving with the Torch. It is a contractual violation and the local organizers did not have the authority to stop the Torch unless the IOC approved. Possible, but highly unlikely. He abused his position of honor. How sad and self centered. The focus is supposed to be on the Torch not the runners.

          Another it's all about me person...

          • 3 votes
          Reply#10 - Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:07 PM EDT

          This is bull@!$%# and the guy should be kicked in the ass. Being asked to carry the olympic torch is an honor. The olympics are supposed to be the focus. He didn't give a crap about the olympics. He wanted a public forum to propose to the woman he knocked-up 8 months ago and only recently decided to marry. What a shameful display of arrogance.

          • 1 vote
          Reply#11 - Tue Jul 17, 2012 11:45 AM EDT

          Not romantic.You interrupt something momentous of international import to kneel before your pregnant wench.How NOT romantic,even less dignified.8 months pregnant-ass

            Reply#12 - Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:49 PM EDT
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