Olympic torchbearer proposes to girlfriend

By Matt Norlander | College Basketball Writer
Is this burning ... an eternal flame? (OK, sorry, but had to. Again: sorry about that.) (Getty Images)

Might as well propose while the flame burns brightest, right?

The fella on his knee there is David State. He's 25, a big fund-raiser for charity, and now newly engaged. State had quite a Monday, really. He was given torch-bearing duties between Marske-by-the-Sea and Loftus. And on his way to Loftus, he started feeling courageous. Everything was going as planned. High on love, you know? A loveable bloke, clearly. So the torch was held by a bystander, State fell to a knee, and an unsuspecting girlfriend was on the receiving end of what we believe is the first marriage proposal tied to an Olympic torchbearer.

Although, perhaps this wasn't a completely unexpected moment. The Daily Mail reports (and click the link for some really great shots) State's 27-year-old fiancee, Christine Langham, is pregnant.

What do you call a shotgun wedding on the other side of the pond? Whatever it is, it won't apply here; Langham has less than a month to go until she becomes a mother, so the nuptials will be coming well after Langham and State start their family. She gave a great quote to the Daily Mail about her surprise.

"I was in complete shock. I think I still am, it obviously emotional anyway watching him run with the torch, but then he palmed it off with somebody and got down on one knee. I was surprised I didn't give birth there and then. I was trying not to cry, at first I was in a fit of sobs a little bit and then said yes."

Terrific. An indelable moment was shared, and then State was off to finish his run to Loftus. Apparently he'd been planning this since he found out he'd get the honor of carrying the flame back in February. Like a typical male, he didn't think everything through.

Or ... did he? Think about it. This guy had to have known what he was doing. Case in point, this incredible depiction of the moments after Langham confirmed a commitment to a lifetime of shared loved, sacrifice and happiness.

He said: "I can't really explain it. They only thing that could come out of my mouth at the time was 'I've got to go' and I ran off with the torch."

Awesome. Love and marriage: it keeps you running.

Update! Video!

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