14 News interviews gold medalist Lilly King with 100 days left before Tokyo Olympics
EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Evansville native and Reitz High School graduate Lilly King is ready for her next chance at an Olympic gold medal.
Wednesday marks 100 days until the games begin in Tokyo.
The two-time Olympic gold medalist described the day as a 100-day countdown, five years in the making.
The last time King stood on an Olympic podium, she was just 19 years old.
At the 2016 Olympics in Rio, she won two gold medals. The first was in the 100-meter breaststroke and the other in the women’s 4x100-meter medley.
King admits a lot has changed since 2016, especially in the past year.
When 14 News spoke to King in June 2020, she was training for the Olympics in a Bloomington pond, after the coronavirus pandemic forced all indoor pools to close.
“It’s been a lot of driving back and forth,” says King, “and just trying to find places to swim.”
Around this past August, King says her schedule was back to normal for the most part, comprised of training, practicing, eating and sleeping.
“You know, I joke around that I live Groundhog Day every day,” says King.
Now with just 100 days until the opening ceremony for the 2020 Olympic Games, King says she has mixed emotions.
“Definitely excited, but it’s a weird feeling,” says King.
So far, King says there has not been much communication regarding what safety precautions athletes should expect in Tokyo.
“For me personally,” says King, “I’ll be fully vaccinated by then, so I’m not too stressed out about it.”
King says if this year has taught her anything, it’s that she is good at being lazy, even for a professional athlete in training.
She also says she was able to refocus some of her “spare time” on out-of-pool training.
“I would say just like my recovery process in between practices has really kind of stepped it up this past year,” says King, “just because I’ve had to, because I hadn’t had anything else to do.”
Despite the changes 2020 presented, King says two things will be the same as they have always been.
For starters, her shot of caffeine right before a race, which used to be Coca-Cola.
“This was 2016,” says King, “so I was still, you know, a little kid. I didn’t drink coffee, but now, I’ve matured, and I am drinking coffee before my races. Occasionally, I will drink a coke before my races still.”
The second constant is her push for a third Olympic gold medal, which not even a global pandemic can stop.
“Don’t worry about us,” says King. “Just tune in and cheer us on.”
In May, King is set to compete in a pro swim meet in Indianapolis. This is prior to the U.S. Olympic Team Trials later in June.
If all goes as planned, King says she could be competing in four events while in Tokyo: the 100-meter breaststroke, 200-meter breaststroke, 4x100-meter medley relay, and the 4x100-meter mixed medley relay.
WFIE will have live coverage of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games starting in July.
Watch Samantha Johnson’s full interview with Lilly King in the video below:
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