Lilly King just became America’s favorite Olympian

All it took was a finger wag.

But Lilly King didn’t stop there on Sunday night.

King, the Indiana sophomore breaststroke specialist, made clear her disapproval of Russian swimmer Yulia Efimova, who has been caught twice for doping. Efimova was previously banned from Olympic competition as part of Russia’s doping scandal, but was reinstated without explanation during the last week.

NBC cameras captured King backstage wagging her finger at a TV that showed Efimova raising her index finger to signal her win in Sunday’s first breaststroke semifinal. King followed by winning her semifinal heat — and topping Efimova by two-hundredths of a second.

“You’re shaking your finger No. 1 and you’ve been caught for drug cheating,” King told NBC after her race. “I’m just not a fan.”

King’s reaction was lauded on social media, while fans in Brazil reportedly booed Efimova before and after her semifinal heat.

The women’s 100 breaststroke final is scheduled to air in the 9 p.m. hour block on Monday.

In other Olympic news Sunday, IU graduate Cody Miller won the bronze in the men’s 100 breaststroke and junior Blake Pieroni won gold for his efforts with Team USA’s winning 4×100 freestyle relay squad. Pieroni swam for the United States during Sunday afternoon’s prelims.

IU’s swimming and diving program has now won 63 Olympic medals, including 36 gold and 18 bronze. Altogether, IU athletes have won 93 total medals.


  1. I didn’t mind Lilly’s live reaction (shown on camera as presenting her own “#1” finger wag ) to Efimova’s finger wag….That’s all fine as part of the gamesmanship.

    I thought Lilly King would have been better served to refrain from making the drug comments aimed at Efimova. From introduction in high school…to college level…to professional levels, performance enhancing drugs and growth hormones litters the sports culture of America. There is no place for it in any sport or in any setting. Let those that govern the events make the call. We are already at the point where most baseball records are irrelevant when measured against a day when “America’s game” was without the abuses of performance enhancers. Many of the fans filling our stadiums still cheer and idolizes some of the biggest names who have failed numerous drug tests…They are allowed back into the games and their “numbers” and “records” are allowed to stand.

    Allow the public to rally behind those(amateur, collegiate, professional, Olympian) perceived/declared as “clean” of PED abuses…Somewhat too easy and hypocritical(considering the magnitude of abuses in our own culture) to use a live microphone serving as a judge and jury against one of thousands. Swim your race and allow the quiet dignity of your better choices to serve as your guiding light.

  2. Let’s see, H4H. We complain when athletes aren’t truthful and don’t speak their mind. Then when they are truthful and speak their mind we rip them. What a fickle bunch we are.

  3. Being “truthful” is completely subjective. Unless she knows her competitor at a very personal level, she really only absorbs the “truth” she’s been fed by the media. If we want to clean up sports of PED’s, we could easily start right within our own borders where many of or record-shattering and iconic stars have been busted(often many years after they soaked up millions and the limelight) Ever hear of Lance Armstrong…? Lance spoke his mind plenty of times…Unfortunate that it was never the truth. Maybe you’ve heard of Roger Clemens? Alex Rodriguez? Marion Jones?

    It’s in vogue to shoot off at the mouth when a camera is rolling or the mic is on….I get it. I simply prefer quiet heroes. I see it the same as chasing a guy that “wrecked our program” at center court after winning….I see verbally attacking an opponent(regardless of accusations of being a “cheater”) to gain a public advantage as demeaning to your own efforts and accomplishments. Some of our current political figures also enjoy tossing around labels like “liar”…or “cheater” I don’t need their public declarations or assessments to make my own decision(I doubt my impressions and perspective will be any less informed than the media filter and those that make ratings from feeding the attack artists with more air time)….

    Lilly made her mark with her fabulous swimming…A class act would find that to be plenty.

  4. Beyond obviously being a very gifted swimmer, I’d give the Russian gal a gold medal for hotness…..If we’re into political incorrectness(which is defended with the wholesome honor of “free speech” and “telling it like it is”), I have no problem giving my viewpoint of where much of the “anger” aimed at the attractive Russian swimmer is rooted. It has nothing to do with PED’s. I would also like to say that Dan Dakich is extremely handsome and that’s why he was passed over from being the IU coach.

  5. An ode to H4H,

    The average person would leave but considering this is all you have, I’m not surprised you’re still competing. I wonder which puppet string I’ll pull today? This one? No. That one? Maybe. Maybe I’ll bait you with treats IF you don’t get aggressive and ANGRY with me. So many options. You make this too easy for me!

  6. While you’re baiting your next hook, enjoy some reading material.

    Listen to the last few seconds of the ‘Mike & Mike’ interview contained in the above linked article …..Very telling..So much of a person can be unveiled in so few seconds. I feel bad for winners who can’t be content with winning. I feel for winners who still need villains. We have one as a basketball coach. …and now we have our Scoop villain-maker here to tell the world all that’s wrong with “angry” Harvard.
    Class acts don’t require so much a need to bring down someone else to elevate their own stage. No amount of winning/labeling erases the deep inferiority complex.

  7. “If she looked back at me….great….She probably would have been scared…but”

    (followed by sad laughter that demeans anything left of being a class act).

    There it is….”She would have been scared..” Very telling.

  8. Seahawk- Look! Rico and I are engaged! After stringing me along for eight years…..I’ve decided to hook up with me….lol.

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