Two-time Olympic gold medalist Lilly King is training for the 2021 Summer Games in an Indiana pond since all of the local swimming pools are closed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
King, an Indiana University product, told David Woods of the Indianapolis Star she's been working out twice per week in Howard Lake since being kicked out of a pool in her hometown of Evansville. She's joined by six other members of the IU pro training group.
"Definitely never thought I would be swimming open water, coming out and training in the pond," she said. "But it's kind of been a nice little change here."
The 23-year-old breaststroke specialist took home gold from the 2016 Rio Olympics in the 100-meter breaststroke and the 4x100-meter relay. She also owns seven World Championship gold medals and four golds from the short-course World Championships.
King said she wasn't fazed by the decision to delay this year's Games until 2021 because of COVID-19.
"You usually have to wait for years for the Olympics anyway," King told Woods. "So what's another year?"
Zane Grothe, whose resume is highlighted by a bronze medal at the 2017 World Championships, is among the swimmers to join King at the Howard Lake workouts. He explained they're eager for a return to action to ease the financial burden of lost sponsorships and no prize money amid the pandemic.
"We're not just exercising. We want to go back to work, too," he told Woods.
Cody Miller, a 2016 Olympics gold medalist, added: "Yeah, if you don't love it, you're certainly not doing it now, swimming in a pond. But anything is better than nothing."
The Team USA swimming trials for next year's Games in Tokyo will take place in June 2021.