Knobel surprised his girlfriend Rachel Wilson with a marriage proposal after the medal ceremony for the swimming relay. (Supplied: Getty Images)
Romance has stolen the show at the Invictus Games as Australian athlete Dean Knobel followed up his gold medal win with a marriage proposal.
The former Navy marine technician asked his girlfriend Rachel Wilson to marry him shortly after winning a swimming relay on Thursday.
“I had been planning it for months. I had to get permission to do it from the Invictus committee,” Knobel said.
“I got handed a microphone and she finally clued on to what was happening.
“I dropped down to one knee and asked her to marry me and she said ‘yes’.”
Ms Wilson, who thought the couple were just getting their photo taken, said she was “very, very happy”.
Knobel, who lives on the Gold Coast, was medically discharged from the Navy in 2013.
He has a spinal injury from a heavy lifting accident which crushed his left hand, and also lives with an adjustment disorder.
Since meeting through an online dating app, Ms Wilson has been Knobel’s “rock”.
“My mental state has improved tenfold. She’s seen me at my lowest of lows on the days where I can’t even get out of bed,” Knobel said.
Invictus Games swimmer Dean Knobel with his girlfriend Rachel Wilson showing off the engagement ring he surprised her with. (Supplied: Getty Images)
With “adrenalin pumping through my blood”, he said it was the right moment to turn a gold medal celebration into a spontaneous engagement party.
“My voice broke, my hands were shaking,” Knobel said.
“I couldn’t get the ring on her finger but it was just a magical moment.
“We all went back to the hotel room and we had a bottle of scotch — single malt of course.”
He is also competing in the Invictus Games power lifting competition.