EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - Reitz High School graduate Lilly King has a lot of hometown fans rooting for her as she prepares for the Rio Olympics, including some young swimmers on Evansville's west side.
When she was starting out in the sport, Lilly swam at Helfrich Pool. Now, her name is spelled out in plastic cups in the fence around the pool. A giant cut out flip flop is covered in "good luck" messages for her.
"Lilly King, she's like my hero, sort of. She's like my favorite swimmer," said 10-year-old Helfrich swimmer Lilly Traylor.
"I watch her meets at my house on the tv, and we always try to see everything," added 10-year-old Ava Traylor.
Neither Lilly nor Ava knew Lilly King once swam at Helfrich. But they're well aware of her gold medal goals in Rio.
"It's just a dream come true I bet for her," said Ava, "I think it's amazing. It almost looks like she's doing butterfly since they're going so fast."
Lilly and Ava Traylor say they're pushing harder in the pool because of King.
"I want to win the gold medal," Ava said.
They'll be watching, along with many others, when Lilly King competes in Rio, waiting to see how big the former Hurricane will go in the Summer Games.