TIANJIN, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- The intense matches at the Chinese National Games are being punctuated by romantic moments as the first competition day after opening ceremony came on Monday during the Qixi Festival, also known as Chinese Valentine's Day, which has been celebrated for over 2,000 years.
After beating Tianjin in men's rugby final, Chen Yongqiang, a key player for the Shandong team, proposed to his girlfriend, who replied with a "yes!"
"We have had a marathon relationship behind the scenes, and she's had my back all the time. I want to give her a promise on a specific day, which's special for my team, and also to honor traditions," Chen said.
According to an ancient story, a couple was separated by the Milky Way after they were sent into the heavens as two separate stars, Vega and Altair. Once a year, a flock of magpies would form a bridge to reunite the lovers for one day, the 7th day of the 7th lunar month.
Thousands of years later, the magpies have flown to the Chinese National Games, with quite a few people choosing to express their love during the grand quadrennial event.
Gui Jinyu, a student from Tianjin Medical College, served as a volunteer in rowing together with his classmate Wang Bingbing. They have fallen in love in recent days.
"This is a very special experience. No matter how hard the work is, these days taste sweet and bring us even closer to each other," said Gui.
Yang Liangliang proposed to his girlfriend on Monday at the baseball arena of the Games. "I took part in the construction of this stadium, so I hoped to propose at this place on the Qixi Festival."
"The Chinese National Games meet the Chinese Valentine's Day, adding special flavor to the traditional festival," Yang said. "It will be unforgettable."