Dolphins flip as football star proposes

Dolphin Cove at Morgan’s Harbour seems an improbable place for an American football star to propose to his girlfriend, but that is exactly where it happened on Wednesday.  

Fernando Velasco is a starting centre with the Tennessee Titans and the 28-year-old giant proudly produced his diamond ring to great love Tieashia Odom after they had swum with the dolphins.  

Still dripping wet, she was caught completely by surprise and shrieked with delight before saying “yes” animatedly as onlookers applauded.  

Mr. Velasco said: “I’m excited. This was something I had planned to do for a long time and I had the ring for a couple of months but I had to wait so the anxiety built up because I didn’t want to do it until I got on the trip to make it that more special.” 

Local businessman Matthew Leslie made all the arrangements, for which Mr. Velasco is extremely thankful as this was their first time in the Cayman Islands.  

“Matthew set it all up and it was an awesome idea,” Mr. Velasco said. “I’m glad I did it. 

“Tieashia is my best friend and I tell her everything anyway so it was hard to keep it secret for so long.” 

There are no immediate plans to get hitched by the couple who have dated for almost four years.  

“For now, we’re just going to enjoy the engagement,” he said.  

Ms Odom, 28, is a social worker in housing and community development in Nashville, Tennessee, where they live.  

“I’m super excited,” Ms Odom said. “We have been best friends for a very long time so he did really well on me. I was so surprised and was not expecting it.  

“I was overwhelmed with emotion. We had been talking about it and he did it so unexpectedly.  

“We are so laid back, I was expecting to open a cereal box or for me to come home and it was on the dresser but nothing like this at all.”  

Does she like the ring? “Like it isn’t the word. It’s like love times 10.” 

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The proposal came out of the blue for Ms Odom. – PHOTO: RON SHILLINGFORD
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