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“See You in Paris”: Moments After US Swimming Team Facing Backlash, Lily King Drops Perfect Response to Cate Campbell

Published 08/02/2023, 10:27 AM EDT

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Rivalries are a common stance in the world of sports. From players to teams, to entire nations, history has witnessed magnificent rivalries, including the sport of swimming. In the early 1900s, Zoltan Halmay and Charles Daniels became the greatest adversaries in the Olympics. Dawn Fraser and Lorraine Crapp was another such contentious player. They became the biggest opponents in the 1956 Olympics. Their rivalry led to Australia making a gold and world record in the 400m freestyle relay. A similar situation emerged from this year’s swimming World Championships.

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This time, the controversy is between two countries: America and Australia. It all began after a strange occurrence during the live NBC Sports broadcast of the Swimming World Championships in the United States. The broadcast had the consequence of unsettling the Australian competitors and fans, who called the Americans “sore losers”. Now, the American swimmer and world champion Lilly King has come forward with a reply to her Australian counterparts.

Swimming rivalry to be continued…


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During the NBC Sports live broadcast, the table was reflecting the total number of medals won by the teams, instead of the total number of gold medals. This led to America being shown on the top, a fact that did not sit well with the Australians. Australia won 10 gold medals, and the USA won 3. The Australian swimmer and Olympic relay gold medalist Cate Campbell blasted the American swimmer on air, during an appearance on a morning show. And she did not mince her words, calling her opponents “Such, such sore losers.” America’s Lilly king had a special response to the situation.

In a tweet, she shared the video of Cate Campbell as she spoke out against the US swimming team. In the caption of the tweet, she added, “Sorry we aren’t so uptight we can’t cheer for our teammates as they walkout for events… See you in Paris”. The challenge given by Lilly King comes after Campbell aired out the intense competition between the two teams. According to Swimming World, she said, “Australia coming out on top of the world is one thing, but it is just so much sweeter beating America.” Campbell revealed how she had an issue with the entry of the US swimmers into the pool.


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According to Campbell, “There were a couple of nights, particularly the first night of competition, where we didn’t have to hear ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ ring out through the stadium. If I never hear that song again, it will be too soon.” The rituals that the US swimming team performs to wish luck to their teammates and cheer for them were also mocked by the Australian swimmer. It is in response to this that Lilly King challenged her Australian counterparts for a swimming match at the upcoming Paris Olympics. The rivalry between Australians and Americans forms a part of the history of the sport.


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A history of cutthroat feuding

The two teams have been vying for the crown against each other since time immemorial. At the London Games, the USA has the upper hand. They managed to bag a total of 31 medals with 16 gold medals. Australia, on the other hand, got 10 medals including 1 gold medal. During the World Championships in Russia, the teams were more evenly matched. America won 23 medals with 8 golds and Australia won 16 medals with 7 golds.

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Their epic rivalry was also highlighted during the 2000 Sydney Games, with the greatest duel in the water in the history of the Olympics. And now, the Swimming World Championships have once again ignited the dormant rivalry between the two teams. The Paris Olympics might witness the battle of ages come to a culmination. Only time will tell who takes the cake… and the medals, of course.


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Watch This Story: 16-Year-Old Swimming Prodigy Summer McIntosh Bounces Back After Losing to Katie Ledecky in the 400m Freestyle

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Written by:

Apoorva Behl


One take at a time

Apoorva Behl is a sports writer for EssentiallySports. With a range that would make Bruce Lee proud, Apoorva’s writing embodies the philosophy of "Be Like Water," flowing seamlessly between a diverse range of sports and sensitive angles. Her articles are known to resonate with her audience, earning her a common spot on the Editor’s Pick list.
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Edited by:

Brandon Gabriel