Lilly King Gets A Gift From Russia

American swimmer Lilly King has received a present from one of her Russian supporters – a traditional Russian Ushanka, emblazoned with the red star, hammer, and sickle, typically symbolic of a communism. Her coach Ray Looze posted a photo of the gift on Instagram.

King is known to have a grudge against Russia’s Yulia Efimova, who has failed two doping tests. The first one earned her a 16-month ban and had her stripped of a World Record. Back in 2016, Efimova was allowed to compete in Rio following a last ditch appeal after she tested positive for the now-banned substance Meldonium.

At the 2016 Rio Olympics, King had some choice words in her interviews for her Russian opponent, and made a now-iconic finger-wagging motion when she denied Efimova gold in the 100.

King was waiting in the ready room for her second semifinal, made eye contact with Eflmova, then sparred back with a finger shake and a fierce glare of her own. Later after claiming the top seed for finals, King unloaded on Efimova during a post-race interview.

King said “you’re shaking your finger “No. 1″ and you’ve been caught for drug cheating. I’m not a fan”.

Given King’s past history with Russia, whose citizens scorned her actions in Rio, she was not too thrilled to receive the Ushanka-hat.

King commented on the post saying, “It’s bugged. We must dispose of it properly….”.

This was sent to Lilly King by one of her more passionate Russian supporters. From Russia with love?

A post shared by IU Ray Looze (@raylooze) on


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This is one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever seen

M Palota

I would keep it and wear in the ready room at Budapest!


she’s so gonna do it

Swim coach

If she keeps it, she might not be able to compete…receiving gifts with monetary value…

Steve Nolan

One of my favorite things about the Rio Olympics was Coach Looze’s reaction after the 100 breast. (And not just like, jumping up and down and stuff, though he did do that, too.)

The Russian athletes were sitting maybe 10 rows back of the US contingent. They started some cheer in Russian right after the race – I’m guessing they were just saying “RUSSIA!” over and over again – which, whatever, your girl got 2nd. Coach Looze turns around and just starts SCREAMING “U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!” directly at them.

It was pretty great and they totally stopped.


Yes because it’s appropriate for a grown man to want to ruin the moment for another country’s athletes who just want to support their teammate in a special Olympic moment. Yeah pretty great….

About Olivia McLain

Olivia McLain

My name is Olivia McLain and I was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri.  I am currently a junior at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, where I am also on the UNO Women's Swim Team. I specialize in the 100 butterfly, 100 freestyle, and now that its allowed …

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