'I'm Just Not a Fan': Swimmer Lilly King Delivers Finger-Wag Diss to Russian Athlete Accused of Doping
"People probably think I am serving it up a little bit but that is just how I am," King said in an interview
Dikembe Mutombo would be proud.
Following Sunday’s 100-meter breaststroke semifinals, U.S. swimmer Lilly King gave a seriously sassy finger wave to Russian competitor Yulia Efimova – who failed a doping test earlier this year – after Efimova came in with a time of 1:05.72.
The act was in response to Efimova’s post-race No. 1 finger possibly referencing the very move King had performed earlier that day. (The two swam in separate semifinal heats and both nabbed the top spot in their respective races.)
“Basically, what happened this morning was that I finished and then I waved my finger a little bit, because that’s kind of how I am. Then tonight just now Yulia got done with her swim and I am watching in the ready room – and there she is there shaking her finger. So then I got done and I beat her time so I waved my finger again. People probably think I am serving it up a little bit but that is just how I am,” King said in a post-race interview with USA Today.
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The 19-year-old King swam 1:05.70 – the top seed position for the semifinals.
“That’s just my personality. I’m not this sweet little girl, that’s not who I am,” King said of the now-viral finger wag. “If I do need to stir it up to put a little fire under my butt or anybody else then that’s what I’m going to do.”
“You’re shaking your finger number one and you’ve been caught for drug-cheating. I’m just not a fan,” King told NBC.
Efimova, who was booed by the crowd, served a 16-month suspension ending in February 2015 for allegedly doping. Earlier this year she failed a meldonium test that was later overturned.
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“I am a little bit [unhappy]. It always increases the comp and the pressure and I’m always up for the challenge. [The booing] is unfortunate, but that was her decision and that’s what’s going to happen,” said King after Efimova’s race.
King and Efimova will compete against each other in Monday night’s much-anticipated 100-meter breaststroke final.
To learn more about all Olympic hopefuls, visit teamusa.org. The Rio Olympics are currently airing on NBC.