It is a fairy tale romance of Olympic-sized proportions: China's 2010 gold medal pair skaters Zhao Hongbo and Shen Xue are getting married Saturday in front of thousands of fans -- on ice.
The wedding, scheduled to take place at Beijing's Capital Gymnasium, has been an affair three years in the making. Zhao proposed to Shen after a gold medal-winning performance at the 2007 World Figure Skating Championships.
Zhao and Shen have been skating together since 1992, and fell in love between practices and competitions around the world. After a short retirement, the pair returned to the ice to win gold in Vancouver in February, breaking nearly half a century of dominance by Russian and Soviet pairs.
Zhao and Shen, both born and raised in China's northeast city of Harbin, were legally married in China in 2007, but most Chinese do not consider a couple formally married until after a festive celebration with family and friends.
"We have been waiting a long time for this," Zhao said. "After the Olympics, we had some time to choose a place and we are so happy the time has finally come."
It won't be just any ordinary friends in attendance on Saturday evening. Taking part in the couple's wedding will be some of the world's best skating stars who have flown into Beijing to p