Johan Jimmy Sjödin, a former Olympic diver turned bear, has just had one of the most romantic proposals imaginable.
Sjödin of Sweden competed for his country in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta in the men’s platform and springboard diving events. He quit the sport when he discovered his sexuality.
“I stopped diving when I was 20. I discovered I was gay and I wanted to finally have a social life,” Sjödin, 39, told Gay Star News.
“Growing up, I had no social life because I was training all the time. I moved to the U.S. when I was 17 to go to college on a scholarship, so when I came out and I was living in LA, I said, ‘Right, I’m going to focus on the next stage in my life.’”
Ever since, he has held odd jobs bartending and waiting before moving into fashion stylist work and then finally graphic design.
Sjödin would actually end up falling for a fellow graphic designer – Patrick Huber, 34, a German bodybuilder. The two met early last year.
“We met on Facebook a while back,” said Sjödin. “We chatted a bit and then we lost contact. I think he was seeing someone and I was seeing someone. We then started talking again and just hit it off. It was about 17 months ago. We live together in Munich.”
It seems 17 months was all Huber needed before he was convinced the two should seal the deal. About a week ago, he posted photos of his Venice proposal.
“It was a complete surprise. On the Wednesday night he told me to pack my bags because the next day he wanted to take me on a surprise trip somewhere I always wanted to go,” recalled Sjödin. “We ended up in Venice – somewhere I had said I’d always wanted to go. It was a really nice surprise, but I still had no idea it was going to be more than just a surprise weekend.”
Of course, more surprises awaited.
I know that I speak for the both of us when I say how humbled & grateful we are for all the love & support you guys have shown us. Thank u from the bottom of our hairy, inked & muscled up hearts. #jadore #blessed #tooblessedtobestressed #welovesharingourhappiness #gaylove #gaycouple #thevikingandthebavarian #myprotector #mylife ⚜️🔐💛🐶🐻💛🔐⚜️ | 📸 Serena Genovese @flytographer
“So we get to the gondolas and there was a girl, and I thought she was just a tour guide. It turns out she was a professional photographer that he had hired. She was taking photos but I still thought she was a tour guide.”
“Then all of a sudden, he gets down on one knee in the gondola and pops the question. He starts crying and then popped the question.”
“I was just so shocked. I don’t even remember what he said!”
Well fortunately Sjödin remembered to say yes!
The couple are already planning their wedding and honeymoon, and there’s talk of children in the future.