Swimmer Lilly King Won the Gold Medal in Shade Last Night
Last night, 19-year-old team USA swimmer Lilly King didn’t just win the gold medal in the 100m breaststroke, she also won the gold medal for shade.
It all started months ago, when 24-year-old Ruski Yulia Efimova got suspended from the Olympics after failing a test for meldonium, which increases your capacity to exercise and is the same drug that got fellow Russian Maria Sharapova banned from tennis for two years.
But Efimova must have had an in with somebody at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which might just be the fakest-sounding name for a real institution we’ve ever heard, because her suspension was overturned HOURS before she was set to compete.
This pissed off Lilly King, but then she realized that this was a golden opportunity to fight shade with shade and she got excited because that’s the thing American teenagers do best.
On Sunday night, when King won her qualifying heat, she wagged her finger to remind everybody who was #1.
It was petty in a fun, cute way.
Then, when Efimova won the first semifinal, she mimicked King’s finger wagging.
It was significantly more petty and less cute.
Not to be outdone, King went out and won the second semifinal and shook her finger again.
In a post-race interview with NBC, King said, “You wave your finger No. 1 and you’ve been caught drug cheating? I’m just not, you know, a fan.”
When asked to defend her finger wagging King replied, “I’m not this sweet little girl. That’s not who I am.”
US swimmer Lily King gives Russian swimmer Yulia Efimova the Mutombo finger wave pic.twitter.com/YMBrgp2Mw9
— ⓂarcusD (@_MarcusD_) August 8, 2016
And then, last night, she won the race by more than half a second, not just beating Efimova but also beating the Olympic record.
“It’s incredible. Just winning a gold medal, and knowing I did it clean,” King told NBC after the race was over.
Just in case you’re keeping score, Lilly King’s win last night marks the 5th gold medal for the US, and the 19th medal overall.
We’re winning the Olympics guys, one shade-filled race at a time.