United States swimmers Lilly King and Annie Lazor captured medals in the women’s 200m breaststroke final in Tokyo, but their celebration that included South Africa’s Tatjana Schoenmaker was a heartwarming spectacle.
The race was a tight one throughout, with King taking an early lead, but Schoenmaker exploded in the final 100 meters of the race, putting down a blistering time of 2:18.95 and setting a new world record as she captured the gold medal.
King ended up finishing in second place, and Lazor ended up grabbing the bronze medal. After the race was over, the three swimmers joined together with South Africa’s Kaylene Corbett in the pool to celebrate their remarkable accomplishment, giving fans a fantastic image:
The moment had a deeper meaning than just the medal victories for King and Lazor. Earlier this year, Lazor’s father David died at the family’s home in Michigan. King drove five hours to Lazor’s house to be with her friend, and she made a promise to both Lazor and her mother.
“She was going to do everything it took to put me on the (Olympic) team, and she was going to pull me through practice every day,” Lazor recalled.
Both swimmers qualified for the Olympics at the team trials in June, and now in Tokyo, they get to share another remarkable moment, as they’ll stand on the medal stand together.