Missy Franklin won four golds and a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics as a sociable, well-spoken 17-year-old. After the 2015 World Championships her gold medal total stood at an illustrious 11, the most of any U.S. woman. But the Rio Olympics have been a sophomore slump, to say the least. She raced in three events, failing to make the final in any of them.
It really began at Trials: She didn’t qualify to defend her 100m backstroke gold from London.
She did get to cheer for her teammates, and represented herself with enormous courage and poise. She still participated in team activities – like the now-famous carpool karaoke.
She participated in the 4x200m freestyle relay qualifying heat, but was not selected for the final lineup. However, she was still eligible to earn the nighttime squad’s gold medal. She won’t leave Rio empty-handed.
She obliged reporters each time she exited the pool and was commended as a class act.
The mystery of what happened to Franklin still remains, but with her effervescent personality, it’s certain that she has longevity in the sport. The bubbles that make her personality sparkle won’t be popped any time soon, it seems.