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Torchbearer proposes to his flame at Olympic Stadium

SPECIAL DAY: Wendell K. Raphael with fiancée Bindi Bhambra

OLYMPIC TORCHBEARER Wendell K. Raphael made history on Sunday (April 1) by becoming the first man to propose at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford, east London.

Trinidadian-born Raphael, who was profiled in The Voice last week, proposed to his partner, Bristol-based Bindi Bhambra, during a race to raise funds for the African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust (ACLT) under the Gold Challenge, the UK’s first Olympic sport based charity.

“She’s worth it,” Raphael later told The Voice. “You meet somebody who is the right person… If I could do more for her I would have. If I had five minutes (more on stage at the stadium), I would have shown the stadium why she is so special.”

He said he was nervous when he first gained permission two weeks ago to go centre stage at the Olympic Stadium and get down on bended knee. But his nerves melted away when he actually walked on stage and saw his fiancée in the stands. They met nine months ago online and now hope to marry next August.

“I knew she didn’t have a clue,” he continued. “Once I saw her, I knew she was ok, and so I was ok.”

He added: “She takes everything in stride. She’s really cool and really supportive.”

Raphael, an eight-time blood donor who donated a kidney to a friend in 2007, is to carry the Olympic torch from Haringey to Hackney, in east London, on July 25.

IT consultant Raphael has also carried an Olympic symbol, a toy hammer, with him over the last nine months as he participated in several challenges to raise funds for the ACLT while achieving his Gold Challenge goal of completing 2012 kilometres by the London Olympics.

He added: “One of the best things about me and the Olympics is that I had her there with me. It’s something that we are going to grow old together and talk about. She got on board and really understands what I do. She’s a keeper. I knew it from the second date.”

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