What is common in cheeseburger, dogs, Harry Potter movies and the NBA legend Reggie Miller? Lilly King!
The breaststroker from Evansville, Indiana was born on February 10, 1997. King started swimming at the age of seven: ‘I had so much energy when I was younger, swimming was the only thing that would calm me down.’ Apart from the discipline, her great passion in life are pets: ‘I love dogs… If I was not a swimmer, I would have like ten dogs!’
She has a good relationship with the iconic basketball player of the Indiana Pacers, Reggie Miller. One day, Lilly checked her phone one more time before lying down for a nap – for sure she did not expect to be woken up mid-nap by buzzing with notifications…
It seemed even less real for the Indiana University sensation when she saw why: Indiana Pacers legend Reggie Miller was reaching out to King over Twitter and Instagram, looking to get in touch with his ‘hero’ and offer her tickets to Monday night’s New York Knicks vs. Indiana Pacers game at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
There is a lot of hard work that makes such amazing friendships form and dreams come true. Lilly King swims 7,000 yards (6,4 km) a day, 3 hours a day, does 2 workouts every other day, 6 days a week.
After finishing sixth at the US Nationals, King wore the Team USA tracksuit for the first time in her career at the Junior Pan-Pacific Championships. Her first international medal came in her signature event, 100m breaststroke. She took gold with a new Championships record of 1:07.98. King and her USA teammates picked up another gold in the 4x100m medley relay, again with a Championships record.
Staying close to home, King began her college career close to home, at the Indiana State University.
King took silver at the US Nationals, placing her on the National Team roster for the second consecutive year. Prior to her first university semester, King competed at the World University Games. In South Korea, she picked up the silver in the 100m breaststroke.
King stunned the college swimming world at her first NCAA appearance. In the 100-yard breaststroke, she went under the 0.57 mark for the first time in history. Having already broken the NCAA, American and US Open records with 57.15 during the heats, she came back even faster in the finals to take the title with the time of 56.85.
King continued her explosive rise to the top by winning the 100m breaststroke at the US selection event and therefore making it to her first Olympics. Her time of 1:05.20 put her among the top in the World last year and made her a true contender for gold in Rio.
At the Olympics, the 19-year-old made a bold statement in the semifinals of the 100m breaststroke by qualifying for the final with the best time, 0.02 ahead of Russian Yulia Efimova. In the final Lilly King broke the Olympic Record with the time of 1:04.93 and became an Olympic champion.
Few days later she collected her second gold medal as member of the 4x100 US medley relay team, beating Australia in the final.
2x Olympic champion (100m breaststroke, 4x100m medley relay, 2016 Rio de Janeiro), 4x World champion (2016 Windsor, short course), World silver medallist (2016 Windsor, short course)