Eight years later, Guo and Fok will dive in the deep end
Retired four-time Olympic diving champion Guo Jingjing will marry Kenneth Fok Kai-kong, the son of Hong Kong tycoon Timothy Fok Tsun-Ting, in a multi-day, multi-city celebration this weekend.
The couple's romance has drawn headlines since it became public in 2004, though a wedding date hadn't been confirmed.
According to the Guangdong-based Nanfang Metropolis Daily, Guo and Fok will make things official at the Fok family mansion in Hong Kong on Thursday before treating guests from sports, politics and business to a feast two days later in the Nansha Grand Hotel in Guangdong province, where the family has roots.
Guo Jingjing (right) and Kenneth Fok Kai-kong will be married on Thursday. PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY
The hotel will cater to almost 100 guests with an eight-course, three-hour banquet, which will begin at 6 pm and include a pre-dinner party and a firework show on the lawn.
Guo, an animal-rights activist, will not serve shark fin, a traditional delicacy at Chinese wedding receptions.
The celebration will shift to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center on Sunday, when more relatives, celebrities and political figures will help wrap up the affair.
Guo's former national teammates Wu Minxia and Li Ting, both Olympic gold medalists, will attend the Hong Kong leg as bridesmaids, while Fok's two brothers — Eric Fok Kai-shan and Jeremy Fok Kai-yan — will be the best men, according to NetEase.com.
Unlike many high-profile couples, who prefer to keep their weddings private, the Fok family has invited the media to cover the event and released details to the public.
According to multiple Hong Kong media reports, the wedding will cost the Fok family about 15 million yuan ($2.4 million). The family has also bought a house, reportedly worth 30 million yuan, for the couple and has given a 10-million yuan cash gift to Guo's family.
Those figures are down from what they might have been, however, because Kenneth and his father were involved in lawsuits with other family members over how to split and manage their inheritance from patriarch Fok Ying-tung.
The 33-year-old Kenneth, the eldest grandson of Fok Ying-tung, met Guo when she competed at the 2004 Athens Olympics, where she claimed gold medals in the synchro and individual 3m springboards.
Their relationship was soon making headlines after a photograph of them was published.
Guo moved on to defend her two titles at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and announced her retirement from diving in January. Her last major event was the 2009 East Asian Games in Hong Kong.
After that, she returned to Remin University to continue her undergraduate studies in business management. She also began learning English, a move widely believed to be preparation for her entry into the Fok family.
Inspired by Kenneth's father, the president of the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, the family has a tradition of supporting and funding sports developments both on the Chinese mainland and in Hong Kong.
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