Swimmer Lilly King, Fiancé James Wells Discuss Proposal On TODAY Show

Just moments after swimmer Lilly King qualified June 20 for her second race for the Paris Olympics, she had a major surprise in store — her longtime boyfriend, James Wells, got down on one knee and popped the question (she said yes!).

King, 27, said she was completely stunned by the timing of his proposal.

“I was expecting it more after the Games because we’re going to go frolic around Europe after that, but last night I was not expecting it at all,” she told TODAY June 21 as she and her now-fiancé joined the show from Indianapolis, where the USA Swimming trials are taking place.

“I was honestly just so confused why he was on deck,” she said. “After that I was like, ‘Why are you wearing your nice clothes?’ Like, what’s going on? And then I realized, ‘Oh, I know what’s going on!’”

Wells explained why he decided to pop the question earlier than planned.

“I was actually, funnily enough, originally planning to do it after the Paris Games. … And then just seeing Lilly with all of her friends here and kind of in this stadium in her home state, I was like, I think this would be a really special moment that she could share with everyone,” he said.

Lilly King engaged
Olympian Lilly King and her fiancé, James Wells, reflected on TODAY about the moment Wells proposed on the pool deck during swimming trials.TODAY

The Paris Games will be King’s third Olympics. She won two gold medals in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro for the 100-meter breaststroke and the 4×100 meter medley relay. She also scored two silver medals and one bronze at the postponed 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Now, after qualifying for her third Olympics, it sounds like King is still processing all of her recent major milestones.

“It was already an unbelievable week to start off with. I mean, making my third Olympic team, obviously, could not be more special, and now I’m getting married,” she said on TODAY.

As for celebrating her Olympic achievements and recent engagement? King and Wells said they are planning on keeping things low-key this weekend.

“I think we’re going to go home and see our pets for a little bit,” King said.

King previously made headlines at the 2016 Summer Olympics when she appeared to wag her finger at Russian swimmer Yuliya Efimova, who had previously been suspended for 16 months for doping, while watching her on a TV. 

King seemed to be mocking Efimova, who had wagged her finger in a similar way after winning an earlier semifinal heat.

Then King swam her semifinal heat and finished in first place and threw her finger up in a similar way again.

“You know, you’re shaking your finger No. 1 and you’ve been caught for drug cheating,” King later told NBC Sports. “I’m just not, you know, I’m not a fan.”

First appeared on www.today.com

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