The women’s 100-meter breaststroke is no stranger to history-making moments.
Four years ago, it was Lilly King and Yulia Efimova finger-wagging at one another as they dueled in the pool.
On Monday night, it was Lydia Jacoby — 17 years old and the first Alaskan Olympian in swimming — who made history by taking down both King and South Africa’s Tatjana Schoenmaker in a time of 1:04.95 to win gold. It was an upset few saw coming.
LYDIA JACOBY WINS GOLD! The 17-year-old from Alaska has DONE IT for @TeamUSA! #TokyoOlympics x @USASwimming📺: NBC💻: https://t.co/GFrdWbcFoO📱: NBC Sports App pic.twitter.com/C4Dj6oThCE— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) July 27, 2021
LYDIA JACOBY WINS GOLD! The 17-year-old from Alaska has DONE IT for @TeamUSA! #TokyoOlympics x @USASwimming📺: NBC💻: https://t.co/GFrdWbcFoO📱: NBC Sports App pic.twitter.com/C4Dj6oThCE
Jacoby overcame both swimmers in the final 15 meters, showcasing just how good she is in the back half of the race. King, the world-record holder, settled for bronze.
The only swimmer to break 1:05 in the heat, Jacoby now sits seventh all-time on the performance list.
It’s an incredible feat for the Alaskan, who trains in short course yards because Alaska has one 50-meter pool in the entire state. Now, not only is she the first Alaskan Olympian in swimming, but she’s also the first Alaskan ever to win a gold medal in swimming. The reactions back home matched the accomplishment.
Team Lydia is HYPEE 🙌 pic.twitter.com/cCKSazZR2b— Just Women’s Sports (@justwsports) July 27, 2021
Team Lydia is HYPEE 🙌 pic.twitter.com/cCKSazZR2b
And Alaska went WILD! 🙌 👏 pic.twitter.com/OEkATFxd3Z— USA Swimming (@USASwimming) July 27, 2021
And Alaska went WILD! 🙌 👏 pic.twitter.com/OEkATFxd3Z
The swim also lands Jacoby on another elite-level list: In the past 20 years, only Katie Ledecky and Missy Franklin were younger when they won individual gold medals.