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.
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….”.