Athlete with Down Syndrome Proposes to Girlfriend in the Middle of a Zumba Class

March 22, 2019 Updated: March 27, 2019

Not everybody’s romantic life emulates the movies. But for some, a glimpse across a crowded cafe, two hands reaching for the same croissant, a joke shared in the waiting line—it’s how everything begins. And it has certainly been something of a fairytale romance so far for Maddie Ehlers and Andrew Gerbitz.

Madeleine Ehlers 发布于 2018年2月3日周六

TMJ4 and Special Olympics Wisconsin shared the couple’s romantic journey online. Maddie and Andrew, both athletes and both of whom have Down syndrome, have known one another for 10 years. It was friendship that blossomed first, which, after four years, turned into something deeper when the pair started dating. The shared experiences and fond memories mounted as the two grew closer, and as 2019 marks their fifth year of dating, Andrew decided to take their relationship to the next level. He decided to propose.

Madeleine Ehlers 发布于 2017年8月26日周六

The sports enthusiasts along with their extended families have had marriage on the brain for quite some time. Andrew has even started taking Maddie to family weddings as his date, as a catalyst for making plans for their own big day in the future. “They always say to each other, ‘I can’t take my eyes off of you,’” Maddie’s mom shared, revealing that the pair are very much in love. The entire family is wholly supportive of their relationship.

Madeleine Ehlers 发布于 2018年2月9日周五

Andrew thought outside the box for the proposal itself and chose a very appropriate, albeit atypical, location to get down on one knee: the middle of a Zumba class. Andrew and Maddie love Zumba, and often take classes at the Pabst Farms YMCA in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. Andrew stopped the music, approached Maddie, dropped to one knee, and presented a beautiful, hand-picked diamond ring. Maddie, speechless and beaming, nodded “yes.” TMJ4 were invited to film the proposal, and the tender moment has garnered a lot of positive attention on social media.

Madeleine Ehlers 发布于 2018年7月20日周五

Andrew’s proposal speech was simple, pure, and from the heart: “I know I love you very much,” he began, “but I want you to be in my life. Would you marry me please?”

Maddie later shared her shock: “He surprised me by getting down on one knee,” she said. “I love him and I was really happy. I can’t keep my eyes off of him.” Andrew himself admitted nerves, but his desire to make Maddie his wife overcame all of his misgivings about the public proposal. “All that matters is she’s in my life right now,” he said, happy and relieved.

Andrew Gerbitz 发布于 2018年1月12日周五

Evoking much the same climax as the ending of an epic Disney movie (think original Disney, circa 1950s Cinderella), the pair sat together for the cameras, holding hands and musing about love, life, and their future together. “A heart is something that’s very strong,” Andrew offered, profoundly. “That’s where your faith is. And my heart is with Maddie because I love her.” Maddie and Andrew are hoping to get married in the summer of 2020, giving them plenty of time to plan their perfect day. Maddie, for one, is already daydreaming: she wants a barn wedding. “I think we’ll go to California or Hawaii, maybe,” she added, thinking of the honeymoon.

Man proposes during Zumba class at Pabst Farms YMCA

SHE SAID YES! Maddie Ehlers and Andrew Gerbitz met four years ago at the YMCA through Special Olympics and started dating. But, Zumba class is their favorite which made it the perfect place for Andrew to propose. MORE:

TODAY'S TMJ4 发布于 2019年2月17日周日

Maddie’s mom is right behind them: “This is just the beginning of their love story.”

And as for the power of special locations to evoke happy memories, Zumba classes will never be the same again!

Congratulations, Maddie and Andrew. Share this story if you believe in true love—or even if you’re just partial to a little romance!


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