BLOOMINGTON – Annie Lazor has become an adopted Hoosier, training alongside two-time Olympic gold medalist Lilly King. Both will represent Team USA in the 200m breaststroke in Tokyo.
“She’s been amazing pushing me through practice everyday,” Lazor said. “Reminding me that there are still things going on outside of the horrible thing that’s going on in my life.”
Lazor, who is making her Olympic debut, is overcoming tragedy before diving into one of the best moments of her life.
Just seven weeks before the Olympic trials, Annie’s father passed away unexpectedly.
“I just thought how can anyone continue on after sustaining such a loss so close to something really important that they wanted to try to achieve,” said Annie’s mother, Stacey.
But Lazor stayed strong, setting aside some grief to go for gold.
“To do it not for him, because he would’ve been proud of me no matter what,” she said. “But to do it for my family to give them something to be happy and excited about for the first time in a long time.”
Over the last three years, King and Lazor have been training ten times per week. Their bond has become unbreakable.
“It’s awesome. She deserves all of it,” King said. “She works her butt off. I’m excited to see how we do.”
Even if they go head to head for gold, they will still support each other.
“I want success for her just as much as I want it for myself because I know how hard she works because I do the same work as her,” Annie said. “It’ll be really exciting either way.”
The Olympics in Tokyo start July 23.