US Swimmer Thought Week Couldn't Get Better. Until It Did

Lily King qualifies for 3rd Olympics, then gets engaged
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 21, 2024 11:55 AM CDT

Lily King clinched a spot on Team USA for a third time, but that might not have been the high point of the Olympic veteran swimmer's week. After securing her spot in not one but two Olympic races at the US Olympic Team Trials in Indianapolis, King watched Thursday as her longtime boyfriend, James Wells, got down on one knee in front of NBC cameras and asked her to marry him. King gave her answer while in her still-dripping bathing suit: "Yes, yes, yes," she said.

To start the week, King had finished first in 100-meter breaststroke final, securing her spot in that Olympic event. Moments before Wells popped the question, she'd secured her spot in the 200-meter breaststroke as well with a second-place finish in the final trial race. Even so, King was super confused about why her boyfriend was on the pool deck after she got out of the water. "I was like, 'Why are you wearing your nice clothes, like what's going on?'" she later told NBC News.

Wells—who, like King, is a former member of the Indiana University swim team—said it was "the perfect opportunity" to surprise King "in this stadium in our home state." "It was already an unbelievable week to start off with, making my third Olympic team, obviously could not be more special, and then now I'm getting married!" said an excited King. The swimmer, whose collection of Olympic medals includes two golds won in 2016, will be the first US swimmer to race the 100- and 200-meter breaststroke at three consecutive Olympics, per USA Today. After the games, she and Wells plan to "frolic around Europe," she told NBC. (More Team USA stories.)

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