Swimming

Watch Team USA swimmer Lilly King get engaged after Olympic qualifier

The five-time Olympic medalist received a different kind of gold after getting out of the pool.

Add one more Olympic ring for Lilly King.

The Team USA swimmer qualified for her second event of the 2024 Paris Olympics on Thursday, and she didn't have to wait until Paris to get some gold.

Moments after she got out of the pool at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials, her boyfriend dropped to one knee and proposed. 

"It's been really incredible for me to be able to watch you over the last four years both in and out of the pool and just to see you grow has been so awesome," said her boyfriend, former Indiana University swimmer James Wells. "It has been awesome, and I'm very excited to see where this goes from here on. So, I was wondering, Lilly Camille King, will you marry me?"

"Yes! Yes!" King responded.

So, first came the Olympic rings and then the diamond ring.

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King is quite familiar with having gold and silver placed upon her after getting out of the pool. She already has won five Olympic medals -- two gold, two silver and one bronze.

She'll now become the first U.S. swimmer to compete in the 100m and 200m breaststroke in three straight Olympic games. She won the 100m breaststroke on Tuesday and placed second in the 200m on Thursday behind Kate Douglass to claim her spot in each event in Paris. 

King, 27, won gold in the 100m breaststroke and 4x100 medley relay at the 2016 Rio Olympics. She then took bronze in the 100m and silver in the relay and 200m breaststroke at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Now she'll look to add to that collection in Paris.

While waiting until July to pop the question at the Eiffel Tower was a romantic option, the proposal came in King's home state of Indiana -- presumably with family in attendance to celebrate both the engagement and yet another Olympic berth.

"Lilly did the bid for this pool and having this be in her home state is so incredible," Wells told NBC's Melissa Stark. "All of us that swam at IU together and that did all this stuff together, this is such a powerful swimming state and it just means so much for her to be here in front of this crowd. So, I was like that's the perfect opportunity to do that."

King, who wore her ring during Thursday's medal ceremony, said she wasn't expecting to get some new hardware after her swim, despite being told to take her swim cap off and let her hair down.

"I was just confused because you were down here," she said to Wells. "Oh, my God! I'm so excited!"   

U.S. swimmer Regan Smith set a new world record in the 100m backstroke at the U.S. Swim Trials on Tuesday.
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