Franklin wraps up historic Olympic Games

Ed Klajman
Posted 8/10/12

LONDON - It isn’t enough that Missy Franklin leaves the 2012 London Olympic Games with a bag full of medals and a world record. The Regis Jesuit …

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Franklin wraps up historic Olympic Games

LONDON - It isn’t enough that Missy Franklin leaves the 2012 London Olympic Games with a bag full of medals and a world record.
The Regis Jesuit High School senior-to-be has reached the point of inheriting the mantle as the “new Michael Phelps” - making her the American swimming icon who will be the face of the sport for years to come.
It’s pretty heady stuff for a teenager, but as always, she’s just soaking it all in, enjoying every second of her Olympic experience - no matter the intense spotlight and high expectations.
In fact, shortly after winning her fourth gold medal of the Games - tying Amy Van Dyken in 1996 for the most golds by a U.S. female swimmer in one Olympiad - Franklin spoke about wishing the Games could continue on.
“I am going to miss this so much,” said Franklin, who won her final gold for the 4X100 medley relay - to go with two individual golds in the 200 and 100 backstroke, plus one from the 4X200 freestyle relay - not to mention a bronze in the4X100 freestyle relay. “I’m really excited to meet up with my family and explore London a little bit, but I’m so sad it’s all over. I’ve learned so much from this experience and I can’t wait to take that home with me.”
The high point came in Friday’s 200 backstroke final, where she set a new world record.
“I had the time of my life out there,” she said. “I knew I was going to take it out and have fun and that is what I did. I am the happiest girl alive. It’s an incredible field I was up against. On my way home, the last 25 (meters), I know I was giving it everything. I could not feel my arms and legs.”
In that final, her teammate Elizabeth Beisel entered with the fastest qualifying time, but was left in Franklin’s wake like the rest of the field. Beisel believes the girl many are calling “Missy the Missile” deserves every accolade she has received.
“It’s insane for how 17 years old her first Olympics doing this and the amount of pressure that the media’s put on her is a lot and she’s handling it really, really well,” said Beisel.
“She’s awesome. She’s probably going to be the next Michael Phelps for the women.”
Franklin was particularly thrilled to end her Olympic program with a relay gold.
“I honestly couldn’t think of a better way to end it - that was so perfect in every way,” she said.
“It was the most fun relay I’ve ever been on. These relays have been so exciting. Every single team in the ready room tonight was laughing and joking.”
After her first gold medal in the 100 back last Monday, she said her swim meet was already much more than she could have ever hope for.
“It is exceeding the expectations one hundred billion times over. I couldn’t be happier,” she said. “It’s incredible. I dreamt about it all my life and I can’t believe it happened at 17 (years old). I cannot put it into words, it’s incredible. I still feel like I am in a dream and someone has to pinch me.”


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