US Olympian Lilly King calls ‘bulls**t’ after silver medal win in 200-meter breaststroke

U.S. Olympic swimmer Lilly King, who scored a silver medal in the women’s 200-meter breaststroke at the Tokyo Games, pushed back against the media and perceived American sentiment against non-gold medal wins by calling it “bulls**t.”

According to Sports Illustrated, the 24-year-old athlete didn’t pull her punches, “Pardon my French, but the fact that we’re not able to celebrate silver and bronze is bulls**t.”

“Just because we compete for the United States, and maybe we have extremely high standards for this sort of thing, that doesn’t excuse the fact that we haven’t been celebrating silver and bronze as much as gold,” King remarked.

“I might be more happy with this medal than I’ve been with any of my previous medals, including the two golds in Rio,” King proudly commented. “We really should be celebrating those silver and bronzes, because those are some of the greatest moments of that athlete’s career, and why would we not celebrate that?”

Not only did King win the silver on day 7 of the Games, but her teammate Annie Lazor also took the bronze. They made history by marking the seventh time that two Team USA swimmers medaled in the same event.

King’s time was 2:19.92 and was one of the fastest ever recorded. She lost out to gold medal winner Tatjana Schoenmaker of South Africa who broke the world record with a stunning time of 2:18.95. It was less than two hundredths of a second faster than the previous record showing just how incredibly close the leaders were in the race. There were hugs all around among the winners from both countries.

King is a veteran of Team USA and was a two-time Olympic gold medalist in Rio in 2016. She won the bronze in the women’s 100-meter breaststroke earlier this week.

“It’s just an incredible swim,” declared Lazor, who finished in third place with a time of 2:20.84. “That world record has been standing for a little bit too long, I think. So to see someone finally crack 2:19, we’ve all been working towards that, I think, to see someone like her do it, she’s just a great person, just to be there and experience that with someone is something that you’ll really never forget.”

King’s sentiments echo those of U.S. gymnast Sunisa Lee who declared her support for her teammates after superstar Simone Biles’ shocking Olympics withdrawal. She heatedly defended their second-place finish in the team competition.

Lee tweeted she’s “never been prouder to be a part of such an amazing team with an amazing group of girls.” She also said, “We stepped up when we needed to and did this for ourselves. we do not owe anyone a gold medal, we are WINNERS in our hearts.”

American headlines tend to run with phrases such as “settled for silver” and equate winning the bronze medal with losing. King, Lee, and other athletes take extreme exception to that unfair characterization especially considering how tight the timing of a given win is.

King hadn’t lost in a 100-meter breaststroke final in 5 1/2 years when she entered the Tokyo Games. A month prior to the Olympics, her father Mark told Yahoo! Sports, “She’s in a position in her career now where if she loses, the story isn’t gonna be ‘so and so won,’ it’s gonna be that Lilly lost.”

Many Americans on Twitter agreed with Kim and Lee and are very proud of their wins:

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