Imagine the moment: your beloved one kneels in front of you and takes out the ring. You say yes and then they smile and tell you the ring is made of the most precious thing of their sports career: an individual medal at the Olympics. This is the story of Dominik Windisch, Italian bronze medallist in the Men's Sprint of Pyeongchang 2018, who melted parts of his award to ask for the hand of his true love, Julia.
“I thought about that even before the Olympics”, revealed Windisch when talking about how this idea came to him: “It was the summer before and I was out for a run, when I thought it would be so cool to make an engagement ring out of a medal. But it wasn’t like I wanted to win a medal to do it, it was just a fantasy and I think I had even forgotten about it by Pyeongchang. But then, at the press conference I was asked what I would do with it, I remembered that idea I had in the summer and realised I wanted to make it true.”
Forging the ring without his girlfriend finding out was a bit of a task, but Windisch wanted to keep the surprise, as well as being the hand behind most of the work: “I managed to do everything without her knowing that I was doing it. The moment I made the proposal she had not suspected anything, so I showed her a video of how we made the ring by using the bronze from my medal. And it was so amazing that I could do everything on my own: I scraped the metal, I melted it… and then the company completed the final touches – which were the most important ones to make it pretty.”
Even if the ring was made not long after the Games and the ‘yes’ was pronounced in the same summer, the couple is going to get married this coming summer: “We decided to wait for a bit because at first, we wanted to build our house and enjoy that big step first. These are all great moments in our lives and we wanted to take pleasure in each of them one by one.”
Windisch will be celebrating this Valentine’s Day far from his fiancé. However, it is not the first time biathlon keeps him away from home around this time of the year and, in a way, his best results always arrived near lovers’ day. “The connection between love and sport for me it’s clear: during the World Cup stage of Antholz in 2016, I got to know her and I do not think it’s by chance that when I travelled to Canada afterwards I got my first victory (Canmore 2016, Mass Start). I know it sounds cheesy, but it is clear that if you have serenity in your personal life, then you can do well in sport. When you are in love, you have so much energy!”