Colorado’s Sweetheart is known to be a terrible artist, but her artist skills didn’t stop her from making history in the pool. Many people know Missy Franklin, Colorado’s Sweetheart or the Golden Girl, as a 17-year-old Olympic Medalist. This is correct, but there is more to Franklin’s story.
In 2012, the Olympic Trails were a success for Franklin. She would become the first woman ever to represent the United States in 7 swimming events in a single Olympics. For those seven events, Franklin won five medals. Four of the medals were gold. The golden events consisted of the 100-meter backstroke, 4X200 meter medley relay, 200-meter backstroke, and 4X100 meter relay. The other medal was a bronze in the 4X100 meter Freestyle.
Although she had many life-changing Olympic moments herself, her favorite was when Michael Phelps won 8 gold medals. While training for her success, Missy Franklin became close with Phelps as well as her swimming idol, Natalie Coughlin.
Since returning home from the Colorado Games, Franklin has turned down multiple sponsorships so she can swim in college. She has also made it clear that she will swim this winter for her high school. The colleges she is considering are Georgia Bulldogs, Cal-Berkeley, USC, and possibly a school in Texas. Also, Franklin will appear in the upcoming film The Internship.
So, where did this amazing career start? In 2011, Franklin received the 2011 FINA Swimmer of the Year award, set the world records in the 300 meter backstroke and 4X1 meter medley relay, and holds the championship title in the 100 meter backstroke and freestyle. The first title she won was at age 16, and she broke her first world record in the 100-meter short backstroke last fall.
Now, Franklin does have a life outside of the pool. Born on May 10, 1995 in Pasadena California, Franklin became involved in multiple sports. Before she ever thought of swimming, Franklin participated in basketball, volleyball, tennis, soccer, gymnastics, and skating. She grew up with the nickname “Missy the Missile.” At the age 12, her father had blurted it out while his daughter and he was messing around, and the nickname stuck ever since. Franklin’s father also invented “built-in-flippers” for his daughter’s size 13 feet! However, she is 6’1”, so the size of her feet is not that noticeable.
At the age of 13, Franklin had already locked herself into swimming, and decided to compete in the 2008 Olympic Trails. Her mother suggested that she swim for Canada’s team instead of the United States, so Franklin wouldn’t be under all of the qualifying pressure. However, Franklin told her mother no, and choose to swim for her homeland. Overall, she did not qualify to go to the 2008 games, but that did not stop the girl from achieving her swimming dreams.
Franklin now attends Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora, Colorado. She has lived in Colorado for a while, and her favorite part of Colorado is the “bi-polar winters” and natural beauty.