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Count them. There are five native Hoosiers that you will see in the pool this summer at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

And they’re all kicking rear ends and taking names.

Chesterton’s Blake Pieroni, Carmel’s Drew Kibler and Jake Mitchell, Columbus North’s Michael Brinegar, and of course Evansville Reitz’s Lilly King are all heading overseas.

That group of five will also be joined by Zach Apple, who is a Trenton, Ohio native but an Indiana University athlete.

All six of these unbelievable competitors will have a chance to make some serious noise in Japan. But this is only King’s second time at the Olympic Games, and she may be even better than 2016.

The Indiana hero was kind enough to jump on The Dan Dakich Show Wednesday afternoon.

“2016 was all new and so fresh and I really didn’t know what was going on,” King said. “I think that played to my advantage. It’s definitely a bit more special now going into the second one. For me, the extra year was a positive because mentally I don’t know if I was prepared for 2020. Since Covid, I am definitely a lot more grateful for the sport than I was before.”

Five years have passed since she won two gold medals in Rio de Janeiro, but now she also owns three world records. All were clinched at the World Aquatics Championships.

In 2017, King broke the world record for both the 50 m and 100 m breaststroke. Then in 2019, she picked up the best world marker in the 4×100 m medley relay.

Oh yeah, she’s good.

But one thing has always stayed the same for the now 24-year-old. She has always stayed true to herself and who she truly is.

“I should have realized the magnitude of what I was doing before I did it but that made me the athlete who I am and I wouldn’t change it,” King added. “If I did what I did in 2016 now, it would be less shocking. But that’s good for me. I’m always trying to find something that will piss me off before I race to get me going.”

The Michael Jordan effect exists in King.

And she’s coming for more gold this summer.

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