Missy Franklin biography
Melissa "Missy" Franklin was born in Pasadena, California in 1995. She learned to swim at age 5, and quickly made a splash on the national scene, then went on to success at Duel in the Pool. Franklin competed in her first Olympics in London in 2012, and won four gold medals: one for the 100-meter backstroke, one for the 200-meter backstroke, and a two more as part of the 4-by-200-meter relay and 4-by-100-meter relay teams. Franklin's father nicknamed her "Missy the Missile."
Melissa Jeanette "Missy" Franklin was born May 10, 1995 in Pasadena, California, and raised in Centennial, Colorado. Her father, Dick, is a consultant, and her mother, D.A., is a physician. Her mother was afraid of the water, so she made sure that Missy learned to swim at age 5 so she wouldn't struggle with the same fear.
Franklin competed in her first international event, Duel in the Pool, in 2009 at just 14, and in 2010 she was named "Breakout Performer of the Year" at the USA Swimming gala, Golden Goggles. In 2011, she completed in her first long course world championship meet and nabbed five medals—three of them gold—and broke her first world record at the FINA World Cup.
The first time Franklin qualified for the Olympics was in 2012, and she went full-throttle, competing in seven events, more than any other U.S. female swimmer in history. In London in 2012, she won three gold medals, one for the 100-meter backstroke, one for the 200-meter backstroke, and a third as part of the 4-by-200-meter freestyle relay team. She also won a bronze medal for the 4-by-100-meter freestyle relay.
Franklin's gold medal for the 100-meter backstroke was won in the second race of a "double"—two back-to-back races that left Franklin just 14 minutes between her 200-meter freestyle qualifying race and her 100-meter backstroke finals. She completed just 25 percent of her typical cool-down swim before jumping back into the pool and winning the gold. For her second gold medal, Franklin, along with teammates Dana Vollmer, Allison Schmitt and Shannon Vreeland, set a world record for the 4-by-200-meter freestyle relay, with a time of 7:42.92.
She then beat Russian swimmer Anastasia Zueva to take gold in the 200-meter backstroke, and set a world record in the event. She had been preparing for a close race with American Elizabeth Beisel, who qualified first in the final but finished third in the race. In an interview with USA Today, Franklin detailed her world-record win: "I just wanted to go out there and do my best and do a best time. That just happened to be a world record, so I couldn't be happier."
Franklin won a fourth gold medals at the 2012 Olympics in August 2012, with the U.S. 4-by-100-meter relay team.
Franklin was given the nickname "Missy the Missile" by her father before the 2008 Olympic Trials. She initially disliked it and was horrified when he teased that he planned to have hot pink shirts made that had the phrase emblazoned on the back.
She has since grown fond of it and has a pair of Nike sneakers with the nickname on them.
In addition to swimming, Franklin is interested in broadcast journalism and is known among friends and teammates as someone who never stops smiling. She is 6'1" tall.