Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Olympic Backdrop to Our Wedding

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Olympic Backdrop to Our Wedding

Article excerpt

A FORMER Teesside MP who took on a 3,000-mile walk to promote peace will this week marry the sweetheart he met during his journey.

Love blossomed for Lord Michael Bates, 51, and fiancee Xuelin Li, 48, amid the tear gas of crisis-hit Athens after she flew out from the North-east to take him some forgotten luggage soon after he began his journey last April.

She had already pledged her support for his mission to promote the Olympic Truce with his walk when they first met at a dinner held for the speaker of the North Korean parliament.

The romantic Lord Bates, who was the Conservative MP for Langbaurgh - Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland - from 1992 to 1997, then proposed to his future wife at the Eiffel Tower in Paris at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve.

He said: "She very kindly offered to bring me the things I needed and take away the 10kg of luggage I had discovered I didn't need. There was a general strike going on in Athens, and amid the tear gas, love blossomed. …

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