With one wag of her finger (plus a gold medal in one of the tensest events of the 2016 Olympic swimming program) Lilly King became an instant star in Rio. The 24-year-old breaststroker out of Evansville, Ind. has sustained her dominance in the lead-up to Tokyo, where she’ll attempt to win the 100m breaststroke for the fourth consecutive major meet. She also holds the world record in the event.
As part of our preparation for the Olympic Games in Tokyo, NBC Olympics sent questionnaires to a wide range of athletes to learn more about their lives on and off the field of play.
Here’s some of what we learned about Lilly King:
What is a typical training day for you?
Four to five hours each day, eight to 10 hours of sleep plus a nap if I have time.
Do you do anything out of the ordinary within your training?
Nope! Just good old-fashioned hard work. I personally think no technology can replace time in the pool.
What’s your earliest memory watching the Olympics?
I remember when Jason Lezak had the craziest relay swim of all time in 2008. My parents woke me up and replayed the race for me to watch. I think everyone imagines themselves being an Olympian at some point in their career. That belief just goes away for most as they get older.
Did you have a specific breakthrough moment?
At NCAAs my freshman year, I broke two American records in the 100 and 200 breaststroke. That was really the moment when I knew I was going to make the (Olympic) team.
What would you change about your sport?
I wish swimming was a contact sport.
Who is your most interesting teammate?
Cody Miller… He’s always vlogging.
Who is your biggest rival?
Yulia Efimova…. Not remotely friendly.
What is the best part of living in the Olympic Village?
Which Winter Olympic sport would you like to try?
Any pre-competition rituals?
I drink a coke before every race.
If you could hear from one celebrity, who would it be?
Honestly any of the U.S. Women’s National Team players, or Miley Cyrus.