It was their shared passion for sport that initially led to ten time aerobic gymnastics champion and world cup medallist Dom and Olympic swimmer Charl meeting. But it didn’t take long for their friendship to turn into something more.
THE LOVE STORY
“Charl casually asked me to come watch him race at Kings Park one day. I went along, not realising what a big event it was for him. Despite the added pressure of having me watch him swim for the first time, Charl qualified for the Olympic Games that night, right before my eyes. Later that evening he asked me to be his girlfriend. It is a night I will never forget,” says Dominique.
Four years later Charl got down on one knee, the week before he had to head off to Dubai to fulfil a job opportunity he had accepted, and asked Dominique to marry him.
“He decided to ‘seal the deal’ before he left! It was just the two of us at a very romantic restaurant at Fairmont Zimbali. He got down on one knee and my ring was served to me, by a smartly-dressed waiter, in a box of chocolates. It was a very loud yes!”
Sharing the same interests and fully supporting each other’s sporting commitments, and both having a love for fun and adventure, Dominique and Charl knew right from the beginning that they were meant to walk down the aisle together. She says their relationship just felt so natural. With Charl being a swimming coach for the international swimming institute in Dubai, the couple have had a long-distance relationship for over a year. “We agreed never to fight on the phone, to be completely trusting of one another and to see each other as often as possible. However, the pitfalls of a long-distance relationship did take their toll at times. We both travelled around the world extensively, competing, and spent large amounts of money trying to see each other on our travels, bending rules whenever we could. Hard work pays off!”
THE HONEYMOON & THE FUTURE
Like a true fairy tale ending, the couple headed off to Walt Disney World in Orlando Florida a few days after the wedding, where they explored the amusement parks, indulged in delicious cuisine and enjoyed special one-on-one time before heading off to start life as a married couple in Dubai.
When asked what they are most excited about being a married couple, Dominique says living together is something new and exciting for them. They will be based in Dubai to focus on Charl’s work commitments, but the goal is to ultimately head back home to their families and Charl’s swim school, Little Champs.
“Our hope for our marriage is to stay committed to being happy. While Charl is gaining valuable experience, I plan to chase medals, venture into new sporting territory and bring results to my amazing loyal sponsor, Mr Price Sport. Children are most definitely on the cards, but exactly when hasn’t been decided yet.”
Text: Monique De Villiers-Delport | Wedding photograph: Geoff Goldswain | Engagement photograph: O’Toole Photography and Videography
Get It Magazine (Ballito/Umhlanga) – July 2018