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Q&A with Arthur Ashe Kids' Day co-host Missy Franklin
8/26/2013

Missy Franklin is one of the world’s best swimmers, having won four gold medals at the 2012 London Olympics and recently winning six gold medals at the 2013 World Championships in Spain. Missy, 18, is also bringing her talents back to Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day as a co-host with TV personality Quddus, after serving as a celebrity guest at Kids’ Day in 2012. The world record holder in the 200m backstroke, Missy is about to start her collegiate swimming career at Cal Berkeley, and took some time from rehearsing to speak to USOpen.org about her upcoming plans and how excited she is to be back at Kids’ Day.

USOpen.org: How excited were you to get the invite to come back to Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day?
Franklin: I was so excited. At first it was a hard decision; we were writing the e-mail saying I couldn’t do it because I was so worried about moving into college the day after the event and how stressful that would be. But my mom was writing the e-mail and I ran downstairs and said "Stop! I have to do this. I have to!" I had a blast here last year. ... The kids get so involved with everything and it is such a fun event so I can’t think of a better event to have my first co-hosting position.

USOpen.org: How different do you think it will be from last year, when you were part of the "Call Me Maybe" flash mob?
Franklin: I will still be dancing this year, I promise. Another great thing about this event is all the surprises that happen. Everyone loved it last year. It was so fun because that song had such a connection to my summer. The song the U.S. Olympic swim team was known for that summer was "Call Me Maybe," so to do that with Carly Rae Jepsen was awesome. I think it will be very different. I was on court for like five minutes last year and I am on stage for almost the whole show now. It is definitely more script reading but I am so excited for the experience for sure.

USOpen.org: How much are you looking forward to swimming at Cal? When do you move in?
Franklin: I will literally leave right after Kids’ Day on Saturday and I get into Berkeley really late on Saturday and I move in Sunday. My mom is out there right now, she has all my stuff and my dad and I are going to meet up with her there. I think a couple weeks after I get there, we start swimming together. I can’t wait. I am so looking forward to that. I worked with [Cal women’s swim coach] Teri [McKeever] this summer again and a couple girls from Cal women’s swim team were at world championships in Spain. It was nice to spend the summer with them again and it was my last meet with my coach from Denver so that was great too. But I can’t wait to swim for Cal.

USOpen.org: How pleased were you with your performance at World Championships, setting a record with six gold medals? Did you think it was better than London?
Franklin: There was definitely a lot of improvements from London that were awesome to see, and also things that weren’t as good as London. The best part about swimming is every time you swim, you learn something about yourself and about your strokes.

USOpen.org: What are your goals for this year? Are you eyeing the 100m world record?
Franklin: Absolutely, of course! But it is definitely not what I think about when I train. Right now my goal is NCAA Championships in 2014. Now that I am a college swimmer that is the big goal, and after that I’ll start focusing on the big meets for the summer and for the USA Team.

Read the full article at the US Open.

Missy Franklin presented with quilt
8/26/2013

CENTENNIAL - It has been a rare time out of the water for Missy Franklin. She's had a break from training after coming home from the World Championships with 6 gold medals, something no woman had ever done before.

That time off, Missy says, is just what she's needed before she moves to California for college. However, before the big move she got a touching surprise that brought the last 18 years back.

There is a rhythm to life. Time brings stops and starts as trials and joys weave who we become.

Helen Lenda compiled markers of time in a way few others do. She turned a garbage bag of T-shirts into a quilt for Missy, a canvas that shares a life journey.

"This is going to be an absolutely fantastic quilt for Missy. It's going to be a surprise," Missy Franklin's Mom, D.A., said.

D.A. looked at the pieces pinned together on the wall. She thought back on the tempo of the last 18 years, with the kind of detail only a parent can conjure. She spotted a piece of blue fabric.

"Oh, it is Missy's baby blanket," she said, touching it gently. "I really wanted this to be part of it."

Down the line of perfectly symmetrical quilt squares are memory after memory.

"Here is her Gators shirt. She started the neighborhood swim team when she was 5 years old," D.A. said.

Then there was the Olympic trials T-shirt from when Missy was 13 years old. D.A. saved every T-shirt and the stored each story that went along with it.

"This one is from Dick," she said, pointing to a Harley Davidson shirt. "Missy and her dad would go for rides. To this day, I don't let them leave the neighborhood."

Over the years, Missy's cadence in the pool continued to bring unmatched success. She earned four Olympic Gold medals and a bronze at the Summer Olympics in London. She won six gold medals at the World Championships in Barcelona this summer. It was something no other woman had accomplished before her.

As her fame grew, so did the times she spent at places like Children's Hospital Colorado. It has been important to the young woman. She is always looking to give back.

"Coming here is one of my favorite things to do. These children are beautiful. They are so inspiring," Missy said.

Missy headed to a stage set up in the hospital lobby to answer questions from patients, staff and parents. They say her time there has always been a gift. She had no idea that this time, the kids had planned a gift for Missy.

They presented big bag to the surprised Olympian. "Oh wow! Oh my gosh!" Missy gasped. It was the quilt.

"I saw her eyes light up when she started to recognize it and realized it was her T-shirts from over the years," D.A. said.

Missy ran over and gave her mom a hug.

"This is incredible, lots of memories there," Missy said. D.A. Franklin blinked back tears.

The Children's Hospital Colorado says the quilt is its way of thanking Missy for everything she's done for the kids over the years.

The back of the quilt shows gold drawings of gold medals that patients designed themselves. She noticed every detail.

"We listened to Mama" is embroidered on that square.

The newest shirt on the quilt is the only one showing the swimming sensation's future, a college T-shirt from the University of California-Berkeley. She will compete with the Bears this season.

But you won't find the sentimental quilt in Missy's dorm room. Her mom said she is not taking it to college.

"When she is done with college and she has a place and a proper place to put it, where people aren't going to sit on it and not have dirty shoes on it, then she can have it," D. A. said.

Missy stretched out the quilt to get a closer look.

"I can't even express how much this means to me. It is my life in a blanket," she said.

Life has a rhythm, bringing with it measures of time you could never predict. Yet it carries a certainty too: it continues on. It is ever changing.

That is apparent this weekend as Missy moves into her dorm room and begins another chapter of life.

Watch the video and read the article at 9News.

Olympic Swimmer Missy Franklin Heads to College
8/20/2013

Missy Franklin is college-bound.

The 18-year-old became the first US female swimmer to win six gold medals at the World Championships in Barcelona on Aug. 4, but she's already focused on starting her life as a student at the University of California, Berkeley.

"Honestly just being home is enough of a celebration for me," the four-time Olympic gold medalist, who will go straight from hosting the US Open Arthur Ashe Kids' Day to move into her dorm room, told PEOPLE on Tuesday.

While such a busy schedule could be overwhelming for some, Franklin takes it all in stride, with the help of her trademark upbeat attitude.

"I’ve heard so many incredible things about college and I’ve given up so much for this experience," she said. "I'm so looking forward to it."

Still, moving away from home for the first time can be hard on everyone – especially parents. Franklin says her mom is "a total mess," adding that "we both bawl our eyes out every time we talk about it."

Regardless, the freshman is "excited to live in the dorms and have a roommate," she said. But as for partying, Franklin admits she's "never been to a party before" an unusual admission for someone of her age, until you remember that she won her first gold medal at 17.

As for those coveted gold medals, Missy will not be taking them to Berkeley. Instead, she prefers to keep them at home with her parents in a safety deposit box and "take them out for special occasions."

When asked if she thinks her fellow classmates will recognize her at her new school, the swim star laughed bashfully.

"I’m just going to go there as Missy the freshman, you know? Like every other freshman going there ... to have the time of my life."

Read the full article in People Magazine.

Missy Franklin Named Finalist for 2013 Sportswoman of the Year
8/19/2013

National Team member Missy Franklin is a finalist for the Women’s Sports Foundation’s Sportswoman of the Year award. The winner will be announced at the 34th Annual Salute to Women in Sports on Oct. 16 at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City.

Franklin is one of eight finalists who were selected based on their athletic achievements between Aug. 13, 2012 and July 31, 2013. The other finalists include: Mao Asada, figure skating; Kelly Clark, snowboarding; Tina Maze, alpine skiing; Tatyana McFadden, Paralympic track and field; Inbee Park, golf; Jenn Suhr, track and field; and Serena Williams, Tennis.

Voting for Sportswoman of the Year is now open and runs through Sept. 9. To vote, click here.

At the 2013 FINA World Championships, Franklin won gold in the 200-meter freestyle, 100m backstroke and the 4x100m free relay during the nomination period. She went on to capture three more gold medals becoming the first women in history to win six gold medals at a single world championships. The 18-year-old also won four golds in the 100- and 200m back and free at the 2013 Phillips 66 National Championships in June. 

Over the past year, Franklin won several awards, including International Swimming Federation 2012 Female Swimmer of the Year, 2012 James E. Sullivan Award as top U.S. amateur athlete and 2013 ESPY Award for Best Female United States Olympic Athlete.

Past Sportswoman of the Year recipients include: (Individual) Gabrielle “Gabby” Douglas, Gymnastics; Yani Tseng, Golf; Yuna Kim, Figure skating; Erin Popovich, Paralympic Swimming; Martina Navratilova, Tennis, and Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Track & Field; (Team) Alex Morgan, Soccer; Abby Wambach, Soccer; Jessica Mendoza, Softball; Misty May & Kerri Walsh, Beach Volleyball; Lisa Leslie, Basketball, and Serena & Venus Williams, Tennis.

Read the full article in USA Swimming.

Missy Franklin Nominated for 2013 Sportswoman of the Year Award
8/14/2013

Missy Franklin has been nominated for the Women’s Sports Foundation’s 2013 Sportswoman of the Year Award in the Individual Sport category. Each year, the Women’s Sports Foundation allows sports fans to cast their votes for whom they think is the most outstanding female athlete over the past year.  As described by their website, the Women’s Sports Foundation has selected it’s nominees based on their achievements between August 13th, 2012 and July 31st, 2013.  The winner of the award is selected by a 50-50 vote, where 50% of the vote comes from the public, and 50% comes from an Awards Committee.

For Missy Franklin, this qualification period encompasses all of her achievements after the London Olympics.  Therefore, this includes her 4 wins at the World Championship Trials, and all of her golds from the 2013 FINA World Championships in Barcelona, Spain, amongst other honors as well. Missy’s competition within the Individual Sport category includes Mao Asada (Japan, Figure Skating), Kelly Clark (United States, Snowboarding), Tina Maze (Slovenia, Alpine Skiing), Tatyana McFadden (United States, Paralympic Track & Field), Inbee Park (South Korea, Golf), Jenn Suhr (United States, Track & Field), and Serena Williams (United States, Tennis).

The Women’s Sport Foundation was founded in 1974 by tennis legend, Billie Jean King, and has dedicated itself to “advancing the lives of girls and women through sports and physical activity”.  Swimmers have been well represented in the Individual Sport category since its inception in 1993, with Amy Van Dyken (1996), Jenny Thompson (2000), and Natalie Coughlin (2003) all winning the award in past years. Before 1993, when the award had two different categories (Professional and Amateur), Tracy Caulkins (1981) and Janet Evans (1989) both won the award in the Amateur category as well.

Franklin’s nomination comes less than one week after it was announced that she would co-host the Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day on August 24. Franklin’s rise to high-profile athlete and national icon status has been nothing short of remarkable as she continues to be one of the most visible female swimmers in and out of the pool in recent memory.  Fans can vote for Franklin at the competition’s landing page, which can be found here.

Read the full article in SwimSwam.

Missy Franklin To Co-host Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day
8/9/2013

Fresh off of winning six gold medals at the 2013 FINA World Championships, Missy Franklin will co-host Arthur Ashe Kid’s Day August 24th. The 4-time Olympic gold medalist has remained very visible in and out of the water since her stunning performance at the 2012 London Olympic Games by lending her support to numerous charities. Arthur Ashe Kid’s Day is a spectacular single-day event the Saturday before the US Open Tennis Championships. A-list celebrities and sports stars attend every year, stumping for the values that made the sports icon and humanitarian Arthur Ashe so respected and loved.

Next on Franklin’s schedule, UC Berkeley, where she will be busy with her studies and the Cal Golden Bears’ dual meet season starting soon.

About Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day
Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day presented by Hess is the largest single-day, grassroots tennis and entertainment event in the world, with chart-topping performers, celebrities and some of the best tennis players in the game coming together to celebrate the life and values of tennis legend and humanitarian Arthur Ashe. The event takes place the Saturday before the US Open.
 
Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day features a ticketed Stadium Show and concert inside Arthur Ashe Stadium preceded by a free Grounds Festival on the grounds of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.
 
Among those who have performed at the Ashe Kids’ Day on their way to stardom are Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Britney Spears, Jessica Simpson, Sean Kingston, Demi Lovato, Ne-Yo, Gavin DeGraw, Carly Rae Jepsen and the Jonas Brothers. A “Who’s Who?” of the tennis world has given back to the game during this fun-filled afternoon, including Andre Agassi, Kim Clijsters, Lindsay Davenport, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, John McEnroe, Rafael Nadal, Andy Roddick, Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams and Venus Williams. They’ve been joined by celebrities including Alec Baldwin, Nick Cannon, John Cena, Ellen DeGeneres, Will Ferrell Tony Hawk, Randy Jackson, Matthew Morrison, and Kenan Thompson.
 
The free Grounds Festival offers interactive games, music and tennis activities for all ages so that kids and their families can enjoy the health and fitness benefits of tennis. Families can test their skills, watch top tennis pros and have a chance to win prizes. The Grounds Festival also features a free concert with exciting up-and-coming talent on the Hess Express Stage.
 
The proceeds from Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day help support USTA Serves, the USTA’s national charitable foundation, and the National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) network. NJTL was founded by Ashe, Charlie Pasarell and Sheridan Snyder and is a nationwide group of more than 600 nonprofit youth-development organizations that provide free or low-cost tennis, education and life-skills programming to more than 325,000 children each year.
 
For more information on Arthur Ashe and his legacy, please visit the Arthur Ashe Learning Center at www.arthurashe.org.

Read the full article in SwimSwam.

Missy Franklin stands alone
8/8/2013

 Missy Franklin entered elite company Sunday as she won her sixth gold medal at the swimming world championships.

The 18-year-old Franklin became the most successful female swimmer ever at the worlds and improved on her performance at the London Olympics, where she was one of the biggest stars with four golds and a bronze. She eclipsed the women's record that had had been shared by Tracy Caulkins, who won five times at the 1978 worlds, and Libby Trickett, who did it in 2007.

Franklin also joins Michael Phelps, Mark Spitz, Australia's Ian Thorpe and East Germany's Kristin Otto as the only swimmers to capture as many as six golds at either worlds or an Olympics. "I still can't really believe that it happened," Franklin said. The Aussies took the silver in 3:55.22. Russia held on for the bronze (3:56.47).

Franklin completed a grueling week in which she competed in eight events. She dropped out of the 50 backstroke after swimming in the preliminaries of the non-OIympic event, wanting to focus on more important races, and took fourth in the 100 freestyle. Otherwise, it was all gold.

"I knew I had to get out there for my team," Franklin said. "We had really tough competition in that race, so we were sitting there in the ready room and we said, 'No matter what happens, we're just going to do our best and have fun and we can't let each other down if we do that.' So I just went out there and it hurt really, really bad, but now we're done and we're all super excited."

The victory in the final race of the meet came after a stunning result for the Americans in the next-to-last event.

The men appeared to have an easy victory in their 400 medley relay, but 19-year-old breaststroker Kevin Cordes, the least experienced member of the foursome, left too soon on the exchange between the first and second legs. The US team, which touched nearly one and a half seconds ahead of France, was disqualified. The French moved up to take the gold, while the silver went to Australia and Japan snatched the bronze.

"A relay disqualification is not a particular individual's fault," said Nathan Adrian, who swam the freestyle anchor in vain. "It's Team USA's fault and it falls on all of our shoulders."

Read the full article in ESPN.

Franklin era in swimming 'just getting started'
8/8/2013

Pity to be an elite female swimmer in this age of Missy Franklin. After Franklin became the first woman to win six gold medals at a single world championships, the swimming world was again reminded: It's only the beginning.

Franklin, 18, owns the most world titles by a female swimmer with nine, a feat accomplished in her second long course world meet. "To look at the names she is now with is amazing and she is just getting started," said Todd Schmitz, her longtime coach.

Franklin became only the fifth swimmer to capture as many as six golds at either worlds or an Olympics, joining a club which includes Michael Phelps, Mark Spitz, Ian Thorpe and Kristin Otto.

She's also setting herself apart from the other great American female swimmers of the last half-century, which include Donna de Varona, Tracy Caulkins, Janet Evans, Natalie Coughlin, and Jenny Thompson.

DEAL: U.S. Speedskating, athletes reach settlement

"It takes decades for a swimmer like Missy to come along just like it took decades for Michael Phelps," said de Varona, who competed at the 1960 Olympics at just 13 and went on to win two gold medals in 1964.

"Her ability to handle the pressure and to continue to be a leader is exactly what our program needs, particularly with the vacuum that Michael left."

USAIN BOLT: Physicists unravel mystery of sprinter's speed

Just for fun, consider how Franklin stacks up to the greatest of all time at this point in his career. Based on their first two performances at worlds, Swimming World magazine concluded: "Franklin is on the same trajectory as Michael Phelps."

Putting aside his single world title in the 200 butterfly in 2001, Phelps also won nine world titles in his first two full-scheduled meets (four golds at worlds in 2003 and five golds at the 2005 worlds). Of course Phelps went on to reach absurd heights with seven world titles in 2007 before his historic eight at the 2008 Olympics.

Another frightening fact for the rest of the world: Franklin probably hasn't reached her peak. With victories in the 100 and 200 backstroke, the 200 freestyle and all three relays at worlds, she has concentrated on improving her speed this year. Next, she's off to California-Berkeley to swim for Teri McKeever, also the London Olympic coach.

Then there's this bummer for anyone not wearing a USA suit: teammate Katie Ledecky, 16, was named the top swimmer of the meet after winning four golds and setting the world record in both the 800m and 1500m free. "Great one-two punch," said de Varona about America's top teens.

After Franklin won her final gold swimming the leadoff leg in the 400-meter medley relay on Sunday, Australia's Cate Campbell was asked if she's scared about the future.

"Absolutely I'm terrified," Campbell said with a laugh. "She's definitely given me the motivation to go and train a little bit harder."

Three years from the next Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, the rest of the world likely feels the same.

Read the full article in USA Today.

5 reasons to be inspired by Missy Franklin
8/8/2013

Team USA Olympic gold-medalist swimmer Missy Franklin (that’s an accomplished mouthful if we’ve ever heard one), is becoming a Golden Bear this fall! That’s old news, of course, but we thought with the school semester fast approaching (what, we have to do homework again?!) you could use an extra boost of inspiration from her arrival.

1) She was 17 when she won. The 2012 London Olympics were held while the new Team USA member was still in high school. She was planning her senior year while simultaneously nabbing four gold medals with world-class athletes left, right and center (although while in the pool, just left and right). She wasn’t even of legal age yet! How many people can say they’ve achieved that much so early in life? Instead of making you feel hopelessly unaccomplished, this should give you hope and push you to strive for more. You don’t have to be a Cal alum to accomplish great things! You can start right now and make a name for yourself before you’ve even donned a cap and gown. The fact that you got accepted here and made the extremely wise decision of attending means you’re already on the right track.

2) She’s friends with cool people. That’s putting it mildly. She wasn’t alone when she was taking the world by storm last year with her performance. Her name is alongside Dana Vollmer’s and Natalie Coughlin’s — fellow Olympic medalists — on the national team roster. She cheered on Michael Phelps as he broke his own record … and he cheered her on right back as she launched her career. She’s probably already grabbed frozen yogurt with Nathan Adrian at Yogurt Park while she was visiting Berkeley for a campus tour. You could just be jealous of all this and sit around whining. Or you could take it as proof that if you work hard you can live it up with big shots while BEING a big shot yourself. Maybe one day your name will be tossed around with the likes of Donald Trump or even Obama! Aim high. You go to UC Berkeley — it isn’t much of a stretch.

3) She’s humble. While we don’t know Missy personally and are unfortunately not actually on first name terms with her (though we wouldn’t mind if she changed that!), from what we have seen, she’s a sweetheart. We at the Clog were able to meet the athlete when she was still a maybe-freshman-Cal-bear and visiting the school last year. She sat in on an ordinary English discussion, and when everyone went around the room introducing herself she just said her name and that she was checking out the school on a recruiting tour. She didn’t drop the word “medal” or “Olympics” once. Someone even had to ask her which sport she was recruiting for! Not only is she ridiculously tall (we felt like dwarves when she stood up), she remembers she’s a person just like us. Keep that in mind for when you make it big one day. You may be cool and all, but that doesn’t mean everyone should know it every time you open your mouth. Being humble will actually make you cooler.

4) She’s into school. Watch this interview, and you’ll see she doesn’t say Cal is lucky to have her or that she’s there only for the swim program. She talks about getting a degree, something we almost forget about when talking about her swim career and whether she’s going collegiate or pro. She says that academics are important to her and that regardless of her status as an athlete, she’ll be graduating from Cal, which is an accomplishment in and of itself! Even amid all the Olympic chatter, she’s been able to keep her perspective on education, and we think that’s extremely important. We’re lucky to be going here! While swimming is one of the things that opened the door to Cal for Missy, Cal is going to be opening a lot of doors for us in the future. Making it through all the challenges it throws at us is something we’ll have in common with champions like her.

5) She’s still not done. We’ve mentioned her Olympic medals three times already, but those aren’t the only ones she’s won. She’s taking home six gold medals from the world championships in Barcelona, adding to her already incredible record. But is she calling it quits and going back to her mansion to lord over all that metal? (Note: We exaggerate and don’t know what type of house she lives in, but a mansion would be cool). No, she says there’s still things she can work to improve. She’s planning out the rest of her career. She’s won countless races and had a career in the last few years most people can only dream of … and she’s just getting started! We can all do that. Don’t settle for something if you know you can do better. Test your abilities and push yourself to your absolute limits. Don’t go off the deep end (swimming pun!), but don’t sit on your butt all day waiting for things to happen to you. Take it from our incoming Golden Bear, reach for the stars and keep reaching!

We hope this has helped show you that Missy’s entrance to Cal means more than just a chance to see someone famous. That being said, we can’t promise the Spieker Aquatics Center will be free of people who “just happened to be in the area.” Adrian stalkers, you now have friends to conspire with!

Read the full article in The Daily Californian.

Missy Franklin wins record 6th gold at swim worlds
8/5/2013

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Missy Franklin stands alone.

Franklin claimed her record sixth gold medal of the world championships Sunday night, swimming the leadoff leg for the Americans in the 400-meter medley relay. She gave the U.S. a slight lead, and her teammates — Jessica Hardy, Dana Vollmer and Megan Romano — made it look easy from there. The winning time was 3 minutes, 53.23 seconds.

LOCHTE: Enjoys success at worlds

The 18-year-old Franklin became the most successful female swimmer ever at the worlds and improved on her performance at the London Olympics, where she was one of the biggest stars with four golds and a bronze.

She eclipsed the women's record that had had been shared by Tracy Caulkins, who won five times at the 1978 worlds, and Libby Trickett, who did it in 2007.

Franklin also joins Michael Phelps, Mark Spitz and East German Kristin Otto as the only swimmers to capture as many as six golds at either worlds or an Olympics.

Australia took the silver in 3:55.22. Russia held on for the bronze (3:56.47).

USAIN BOLT: Physicists unravel mystery of his speed

"I'm not really sure where that came from but I'm really happy with that," Franklin said. "I knew I had to get out there for my team. We had really tough competition in that race, so we were sitting there in the ready room and we said, 'No matter what happens, we're just going to do our best and have fun and we can't let each other down if we do that.' So I just went out there and it hurt really, really bad, but now we're done and we're all super excited."

The victory in the final race of the meet came after a stunning result for the Americans in the next-to-last event.

The men appeared to have an easy victory in their 4x100 medley relay, but 19-year-old breaststroker Kevin Cordes, the least experienced member of the team, left too soon on the exchange between the first and second legs.

The U.S. team, which touched nearly one and a half seconds ahead of France, was disqualified. The French moved up to take the gold, while the silver went to Australia and Japan snatched the bronze.

"A relay disqualification is not a particular individual's fault," said Nathan Adrian, who swam the freestyle anchor in vain. "It's Team USA's fault and it falls on all of our shoulders."

Cordes came into the meet touted as the next great American breaststroker, but he endured a tough week in Barcelona. The teenager failed to win an individual medal, then cost him and his team a gold in the finale.

"If us four ever step up again, we're never going to have a disqualification, that's for sure," Adrian vowed. "It will really motivate him. I don't doubt if in the next couple years we're going to have the fastest breaststroker in the world swimming for Team USA. This could be a catalyst for that."

Cordes stood on the deck in disbelief, hands on his head, but the replay showed he clearly left the block before backstroker Matt Grevers touched the pad. Ryan Lochte could only shake his head, having contributed a strong butterfly leg that didn't matter. He was denied his fourth gold medal of the meet, leaving him tied with Chinese star Sun Yang as the most successful male swimmers.

Franklin stood above them all — even though, amazingly enough, she was not even named the top female swimmer of the meet.

That award went to fellow American Katie Ledecky, who won four golds and set two world records. She edged out Franklin based on a formula that doesn't count the relays and gives bonus points for world marks.

Sun was named the top male swimmer after sweeping the freestyle distance events. He closed with a victory in the 1,500 free, adding to his triumphs in the 400 and 800.

Read the full article in USA Today.

Missy Franklin wins 4th gold
8/1/2013

BARCELONA, Spain -- Missy Franklin won her fourth gold medal of the world swimming championships with a strong anchor leg for the United States in the 4x200-meter freestyle relay Thursday.

Katie Ledecky earned her third gold of the meet, swimming leadoff for the Americans.

Ledecky led France's Camille Muffat at the first exchange, but the U.S. slipped back to second -- first behind the French, then Australia -- as Shannon Vreeland and Karlee Bispo took over for the middle legs.

But the U.S. was close enough when Franklin dove in for the final 200. She zipped by Australia's Alicia Coutts and won going away in 7 minutes, 45.14 seconds. Australia settled for silver in 7:47.08, while France took the bronze in 7:48.43.

James Magnussen rallied to win the 100-meter freestyle with a furious finishing kick at the world swimming championships Thursday.

The Missile edged Americans Jimmy Feigen and Nathan Adrian, who settled for silver and bronze.

The winning time was 47.71 seconds.

Russia's Vladimir Morozov went out strong, leading Adrian at the turn with Magnussen in fifth. But the Australian was stronger on the return lap, touching ahead of Feigen (47.82) and Adrian (47.84).

Morozov faded to fifth. Magnussen hopped on a rope and flexed for the crowd, taking a step toward making up a disappointing performance in the London Olympics. He was favored in the 100 free but lost to Adrian by hundredth of a second, and didn't even make the final of the 50 free.

Earlier, Ryan Lochte returned to the top at the championships, cruising to victory in the 200-meter individual medley.

Lochte trailed Brazil's Thiago Pereira after the butterfly and backstroke legs, but the American took control on the breaststroke and won going away with a powerful freestyle finish.

The winning time was 1 minute, 54.98 seconds. Japan's Kosuke Hagino took the silver in 1:56.29, while the bronze went to Pereira in 1:56.30.

Lochte got off to a disappointing start in the championships, finishing fourth in the 200 freestyle. But, in the third of an expected seven events at Barcelona, he has another world title.

Read the full article in ESPN.

3 for 3: Missy Franklin claims 3rd gold medal of swimming worlds after giving up bid for 8
7/31/2013

BARCELONA, Spain — Missy Franklin has claimed her third gold medal of the world swimming championships with a victory in the 200-meter freestyle.

Franklin gave up her bid to win eight golds in Barcelona, scratching the 50 back so she could focus on the 200 free. That decision paid off Wednesday night when she touched first in 1 minute, 54.81 seconds.

Italy’s Federica Pelligrini took the silver, 0.33 behind the winner, and France’s Camille Muffat claimed bronze.

Muffat went out hard, leading after the first lap and 0.75 under the world-record pace. But Franklin edged ahead at the midway point and held off a hard-charging Pelligrini at the end.

It was the most significant freestyle win of Franklin’s career. She was fourth in the 200 free at the London Olympics.

Read the full article in The Washington Post.

Missy Franklin Looking Good For Second Gold So Far; Hosszu Scratches After Hungarian Record
7/30/2013

BARCELONA, Spain, July 29. OLYMPIC darling Missy Franklin, who has a daunting schedule of eight events this week, is looking to set up her second gold of the FINA World Championships thus far with a strong outing in the women's 100-meter backstroke.

Franklin also hopes to make some history as she could become the only woman ever to back up an Olympic victory in this event with a triumph in the 100 back the following year at Worlds. She took care of what she needed to do to advance to semis as she blasted a 59.13 in prelims, going out in 29.06 and coming home in 30.07. She's likely to clear 59 seconds in semis, as she already has a world-leading 58.67 from U.S. Nationals earlier this summer.


Meanwhile, Katinka Hosszu Hosszu's time of 59.40 made her the first Hungarian to break 1:00 as she downed her national record of 1:00.24 set at the Irish Championships in April of this year. That performance lowered the legendary Krisztina Egerszegi's record, and put Hosszu in line for another final. Her swim today vaulted her to fifth in the world rankings.

Hosszu may not pull off a potential eight gold run like Franklin, but she's still one of the most versatile female swimmers this planet has ever seen when it comes to the amount of events in which she could potentially medal. The scary thing about Hosszu is that if given enough time, she probably could medal in every single event on the schedule.

Hosszu, however, had seen enough in terms of the 100 back, and told Swimming World after her swim that she was scratching the 100 back the rest of the way to focus on the rest of her daunting schedule.

Franklin's future California Golden Bear teammate Elizabeth Pelton also served up a sub-1:00 in prelims with a 59.94 for the third seed. She's already been a fourth-ranked 59.27 this year at nationals and Team USA will be gunning for a 1-2 finish in the event.

China's Fu Yuanhui, currently ranked sixth in the world with a 59.56, qualified fourth in 1:00.01, while Australia's Emily Seebohm, raced to fifth in 1:00.02 after scratching the 200 IM finals to focus on this event.

Czech's Simona Baumrtova (1:00.05), Japan's Aya Terakawa (1:00.09) and Canada's Sinead Russell (1:00.17) comprised the rest of the top eight out of prelims.

Meanwhile Australia's Belinda Hocking (1:00.39), Ukraine's Daryna Zevina (1:00.43), France's Cloe Credeville (1:00.70), Spain's Duane Da Rocha Marce (1:00.80), China's Zhou Yanxin (1:00.99), Spain's Mercedes Peris Minguet (1:01.19), Great Britain's Lauren Quigley (1:01.23) and South Africa's Karin Prinsloo (1:01.25) also made the semifinals with Kimberly Buys moving into the top 16 with a 1:01.35 after Hosszu's intended scratch.

Read the full article in Swimming World Magazine.

Missy "The Missile" Franklin targets busy week with world champs in Spain on tap
7/29/2013

BARCELONA, Spain — Missy Franklin giggled a bit when a reporter asked for her "body measures."

Then she dived right in.

She's 6-foot-1. She estimated her wingspan at around 6-4ish. She wears size-13 shoes.

Say this about Missy the Missile: She's comfortable in her own skin.

That wasn't always the case, though.

The endearing star of the London Olympics, where success in the water was only enhanced by her bubbly personality on dry land, conceded Friday there were some uncomfortable moments along the way.

"I'm definitely a little bit different than your average 18-year-old girl," Franklin said during a news conference at the world swimming championships. "It was actually a little difficult growing up and kind of being a little bit different than everyone, always being a head above all the boys. It kind of took me a while to realize how much it helps me."

With Michael Phelps in retirement, at least for now, Franklin is the leading attraction for this biennial championship.

A couple of months removed from her graduation from Regis Jesuit High School, Franklin will take on a Phelpsian workload by swimming eight events — five individual races, plus all three relays. The swimming competition begins Sunday.

"It's definitely a lot," she said. "But I'm very, very excited. They are some of my favorite races. I'm really looking forward to those. The expectations are just to have fun."

That has never been much of a problem for Franklin.

Read the full article in The Denver Post.

2013 Swimming World Championships TV schedule, list of events
7/29/2013

Two United States swimming stars from the 2012 London Summer Olympics will be putting their skills on display for the 2013 world championships beginning Sunday, July 28. Ryan Lochte and Missy Franklin both have full schedules, that exceed the amount of events they competed in during the Olympics, as they look to prove they are still among the greatest in the world.

If you want to catch the swimming championships, below is the entire schedule and day-by-day list of events.

Here is the complete televised schedule for the world championships followed by the breakdown of each day’s events:
Date     Time (p.m. ET)     Network
Sunday, July 28     2:30-4:30     NBC
Sunday, July 28     9-11 (re-air)     Universal Sports
Monday, July 29     12-2 (LIVE)     Universal Sports
Tuesday, July 30     12-2:30 (LIVE)     Universal Sports
Wednesday, July 31     12-2 (LIVE)     Universal Sports
Thursday, Aug. 1     12-2:30 (LIVE)     Universal Sports
Friday, Aug. 2     12-2:30 (LIVE)     Universal Sports
Saturday, Aug. 3     1-3     NBC
Saturday, Aug. 3     9-11 (re-air)     Universal Sports
Sunday, Aug. 4     4-6     NBC
Sunday, Aug. 4     9-11 (re-air)     Universal Sports
Day 1
Sun. 28 July     Day 2
Mon. 29 July     Day 3
Tue. 30 July
    Day 4
Wed. 31 July
           
H 10.00-13.45     H 10.00-12.45     H 10.00-12.45     H 10.00-12.10
100m Butterfly W     100m Back W     50m Breast M     50m Back W
400m Free M     100m Back M     200m Free W     100m Free M
200m IM W     100m Breast W     200m Butterfly M     200m Butterfly W
50m Butterfly M     200m Free M     800m Free M     200m IM M
400m Free W     1500m Free W        
100m Breast M            
4x100m Free W            
4x100m Free M            
           
F 18.00-20.05     F 18.00-19.50     F 18.00-20.10     F 18.00-20.00
100m Butterfly W SF     100m Breast M     200m Free M     100m Free M SF
400m Free M     100m Butterfly W     100m Back W     50m Back W SF
200m IM W SF     100m Back M SF     50m Breast M SF     200m Butterfly M
50m Butterfly M SF     100m Breast W SF     1500m Free W     200m Free W
400m Free W     50m Butterfly M     100m Back M     50m Breast M
100m Breast M SF     100m Back W SF     200m Free W SF     200m Butterfly W SF
4x100m Free W     200m Free M SF     200m Butterfly M SF     200m IM M SF
4x100m Free M     200m IM W     100m Breast W     800m Free M
           
Day 5
Thu. 1 August     Day 6
Fri. 2 August     Day 7
Sat. 3 August     Day 8
Sun. 4 August
           
H 10.00-12.45     H 10.00-12.45     H 10.00-13.00     H 10.00-12.30
100m Free W     50m Free M     50m Free W     400m IM M
200m Back M     50m Butterfly W     50m Back M     400m IM W
200m Breast W     100m Butterfly M     50m Breast W     4x100m Medley M
200m Breast M     200m Back W     1500m Free M     4x100m Medley W
4x200m Free W     4x200m Free M        
    800m Free W        
           
F 18.00-20.10     F 18.00-20.30     F 18.00-20.10     F 18.00-20.25
100m Free W SF     100m Free W     50m Butterfly W     50m Back M
200m IM M     200m Back M     50m Free M     50m Breast W
200m Breast W SF     200m Back W SF     200m Back W     400m IM M
100m Free M     50m Free M SF     50m Breast W SF     50m Free W
200m Butterfly W     200m Breast W     100m Butterfly M     1500m Free M
200m Breast M SF     100m Butterfly M SF     50m Free W SF     400m IM W
50m Back W     50m Butterfly W SF     50m Back M SF     4x100m Medley M
200m Back M SF     200m Breast M     800m Free W     4x100m Medley W
4x200m Free W     4x200m Free M    

Read the full article at FanSided.

Missy Franklin wins first of eight possible swim golds
7/29/2013

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) - With Michael Phelps cheering from the stands and a big assist from a teammate, Missy Franklin got off to a thrilling start in her own quest to win eight gold medals at the world championships. Too bad the U.S. men didn't have Phelps for their relay.

Megan Romano turned in a brilliant anchor leg to ensure Franklin of a gold in the women's 400-meter freestyle relay Sunday evening, chasing down the Australians in the last, furious strokes.

Coming off a starring role at the London Olympics, Franklin is now one-for-one in Barcelona.

Seven more to go.

"Oh, my gosh, it was amazing!" said Franklin, who clutched hands with teammate Natalie Coughlin at the edge of the pool as they cheered on Romano. "We knew Megan could do it."

Overall, it was good start for the American team on the first night of pool swimming at the arena atop Montjuic. Katie Ledecky, still only 16 and preparing to start her junior year of high school, nearly broke the world record while winning the women's 400 free. Connor Jaeger pulled out a bronze in the men's 400 free, which was won in dominating fashion by China's Sun Yang.

It looked as though the final race of the night would produce another red, white and blue celebration.

Turns out it did - but it was Le Tricolore that waved throughout the Palau Sant Jordi when the French rallied to snatch the gold away from the Americans in the men's 400 free relay.

In a repeat of their stirring comeback at last summer's Olympics, Jeremy Stravius chased down Jimmy Feigen to set off a wild celebration among the huge French contingent in the stands.

"I actually didn't even see them until the last five meters," Feigen said. "Maybe I should have paid more attention to them."

Maybe the result would have been different if Phelps had not retired after London. He is in Barcelona to make some promotional appearances and attend the evening finals, but only as a fan. The swimming world is abuzz with speculation that he's planning a comeback, but not yet.

"He was texting me," said Bob Bowman, coach of the U.S. men's team and Phelps' longtime mentor. "He was disappointed we got beat. He was just giving me his critique. It was right on."

Of course, Phelps was on the relay team that lost in London. He helped give the Americans what looked to be a commanding lead, but Ryan Lochte couldn't hold off Yannick Agnel's furious charge for gold on the anchor leg.

This time, Agnel went out first for the French, and he was next-to-last when he handed off to Florent Manaudou. France was still only fourth after a blistering 100 by Fabien Gilot (the fastest of the night, 46.90). The U.S. was slightly ahead of the Australians when Anthony Ervin passed it off to Feigen.

He couldn't hold off Stravius, who touched the wall in 3 minutes, 11.18 seconds. The Americans took silver in 3:11.42, while Russia claimed the bronze in 3:11.44. The Aussies faded to fourth.

Phelps was in no shape to swim, even if he wanted to. He arrived at the arena wearing a boot cast on his right foot, having sustained some sort of minor stress fracture that apparently worsened from playing golf.

"I tried to get him on the relay but he didn't want to do it," U.S. assistant coach Mike Bottom said jokingly. "Bob actually was giving him a tough time. He was like, 'Hey, you ready to go? Let's go.' But he was limping around."

Even so, Agnel was asked whether he was glad to see Phelps in the stands rather than in the pool.

"I don't understand the question," the Frenchman quipped.

No swimmer has ever won eight golds at the world championships. Phelps came oh-so-close in 2007 when he won his first seven events but never got a chance in the eighth. The Americans were disqualified in the preliminaries of the 400 medley relay while Phelps was resting up to swim in the final.

The following year, of course, he won a record eight golds on a much bigger stage, the Beijing Olympics.

Franklin, now 18 and getting ready to go off to college at Cal-Berkeley, won four golds and a bronze in London. She just missed out on medals in the 100 and 200 free - events she will again swim at the worlds along the 50 back, a non-Olympic event.

"I'm right where I was last summer, which gives me a lot of confidence going into the rest of the meet," Franklin said. "I think I am a little stronger in my backstrokes than my freestyles, but I've done a lot of work on my freestyle the past year so I really hope that it's going to be up there."

She was far behind on the opening leg after a blistering start by Australia's Cate Campbell. Coughlin and Shannon Vreeland chipped away at the Aussie lead before Romano finished the job. She edged Coutts by 0.12 seconds with a winning time of 3:32.43. The Netherlands finished another 3 seconds behind for the bronze.

"I just love to race. And relays are awesome," Romano said. "It's great competing for these girls next to me. I was doing it for them. It's fun and I love it. I can't not go fast."

Ditto for Ledecky, who's also planning a grueling program at these worlds that includes the 800 and 1,500 free. It looks likes she can handle the load, her star still on the rise after a stunning gold medal in the 800 at the London Olympics when she was a complete unknown internationally.

"It is easier," she said. "I am a lot more relaxed on the international stage after having the Olympics as a first international competition. It's just great to get back to a top international competition and to do well."

The only drama in her race was whether the world record would fall. She was on pace much of the race before winning with a time of 3:59.82 - a mere 0.67 seconds off the mark set by Italy's Federica Pelligrini back in 2009 in one of those rubberized suits that are no longer allowed.

Melanie Costa of Spain took silver in 4:02.47, while the bronze went to New Zealand's Lauren Boyle in 4:03.89.

"I'm still in shock over the time," Ledecky said. "The U.S. has such a great tradition of distance swimmers, so I'm just trying to do my best to live up to that."

Sun looked as though he barely exerted himself winning the first final of the night.

The towering swimmer hopped out of the pool and flexed his fists for the crowd after winning the men's 400 free in 3:41.59, far ahead of silver medalist Kosuke Hagino of Japan (3:44.82). Jaeger was next in 3:44.85.

"I had a pretty good time for me because I don't have a major challenger here," said Sun, who won two golds, a silver and a bronze at the London Games. "If I had had one, I would have gone a lot faster."

Read the full article in USA Today.

Bears Prep for Worlds in Barcelona
7/26/2013

BERKELEY – California will take the spotlight on the world stage once again when a large contingent of Golden Bears swims in the 15th FINA World Championships from July 28-Aug. 4 at the Palau Saint Jordi in Barcelona. Incoming freshman Missy Franklin, returning sophomore Elizabeth Pelton and alumnae Natalie Coughlin and Lauren Boyle are among the Bears competing in the long-course championships, while Cal head coach Teri McKeever is an assistant coach for the United States in Spain.

McKeever, the head coach of the U.S. squad at the 2012 London Olympics, will join several of her protégés on the U.S. team. Along with Coughlin, Franklin and Pelton, other Bears swimming for the United States include Rachel Bootsma, Elizabeth Pelton and Dana Vollmer.

Cal boasts swimmers competing for other countries at worlds as well. Boyle and incoming freshman Sophia Batchelor will swim for their native New Zealand. Fresh off the World University Games in Kazan, Russia, current Bears Stephanie Au and Yvette Kong will swim for Hong Kong in Barcelona. Farida Osman, another incoming freshman, swims for Egypt at worlds.

NBC and Universal Sports will broadcast action – both live and taped – from the World Championships; that TV schedule is available on USASwimming.org. Results for the World Championships will be available on OmegaTiming.com.

Other information from the meet is available on the official website. Fans can also follow the official World Championships’ Twitter feed @bcn2013swimming.

Comcast SportsNet Central recently featured three Cal alums – Coughlin, Nathan Adrian and Anthony Ervin – as they prepared in Berkeley for the World Championships. That video is available by clicking here.

Franklin, who won five medals at the 2012 London Olympics, will be even busier in Barcelona, as she is scheduled to swim in eight events – the 50-, 100- and 200-meter backstrokes, the 100- and 200-meter freestyles as well as three relays: 4x100-meter freestyle relay, 4x200-freestyle relay and 4x100-medley relay. Franklin, who swam in seven events in London, holds the long-course world record in the 200-meter backstroke (2:04.06).

The Swimmer of the Meet at the NCAA Championships last March, Pelton will be swimming in her third World Championships. The American record-holder (1:47.84) and 2013 NCAA champ in the 200-yard back, she will swim in the 100- and 200-meter backs and 4x100-free relay in Spain.

Bootsma, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist who like Pelton will be a sophomore at Cal this fall, will compete in the 50 back in Spain. One of the Bears’ many talented backstrokers, Bootsma won the 100-yard back at NCAAs.

The 2012 Olympic bronze medalist in the 200-meter individual medley, Leverenz completed her Cal career last fall by repeating as the NCAA champ in the 200-yard IM. She will swim in the 200 IM at worlds.

Coughlin – the Cal legend and 12-time Olympic medalist, who won a bronze medal in London – is slated to swim in the 50 freestyle and the 4x100-free relay. Over her storied career, Coughlin has won a total of 18 medals at long-course worlds.

The world record-holder in the 100 butterfly – which she set when she won the gold medal last summer in London – Vollmer will swim the 100 fly, 50 fly and 4x100-medley relay at worlds. She also won gold in the 4x200-free relay and 4x100-medley relay in 2012.

A two-time Olympian for New Zealand, Boyle is a strong contender in the 800 free, which she won at the FINA Short-Course World Championships last December. She will swim the 400, 800 and 1500 frees in Barcelona. Batchelor – who barely missed out on a spot at the London Olympics in the 100 butterfly– is the latest in a long-line of talented international swimmers to commit to Cal. The new Bear is slated to swim the 50 fly, 100 fly and 200 back at worlds.

Au, another two-time Olympian, who will be a Cal senior in 2013-14, is scheduled to swim in the 50 and 100 backs as well as in Hong Kong’s 4x100-medley relay. Kong, a returning junior, has a docket that includes the 50 and 100 breaststrokes and the 4x100-medley relay.

Osman, who will also begin her Cal career in the coming season, qualified to swim in the 50 and 100 frees as well as the 50 and 100 flies at worlds.

Bears in Barcelona

USA

Rachel Bootsma, sophomore – 50-meter backstroke

Natalie Coughlin, alumna – 50-meter freestyle, 4x100-meter freestyle relay

Missy Franklin, incoming freshman – 100-meter freestyle, 200-meter freestyle, 50-meter backstroke, 100-meter backstroke, 200-meter backstroke, 4x100-meter freestyle relay, 4x200-meter freestyle relay, 4x100-meter medley relay

Caitlin Leverenz, alumna – 200-meter individual medley

Elizabeth Pelton, sophomore – 100-meter backstroke, 200-meter backstroke, 4x100-meter freestyle relay

Dana Vollmer, alumna – 50-meter butterfly, 100-meter butterfly, 4x100-meter medley relay

Teri McKeever – assistant coach

Egypt

Farida Osman, incoming freshman – 50-meter butterfly, 100-meter butterfly, 50-meter freestyle, 100-meter freestyle

Hong Kong

Stephanie Au, senior – 50 meter backstroke, 100 meter backstroke, 4x100-meter medley relay

Yvette Kong, junior – 50-meter breaststroke, 100-meter breaststroke, 4x100-meter medley relay

New Zealand

Sophia Batchelor, incoming freshman – 50-meter butterfly, 100-meter butterfly, 200-meter backstroke

Lauren Boyle, alumna – 400-meter freestyle, 800-meter freestyle, 1500-meter freestyle

Read the full article in Cal Bears Athletics.

2013 Worlds Previews: Franklin, Pelton Favorites to 1-2 in 200 Back
7/26/2013

While Missy Franklin has proven to be the best backstroker in the world since 20, she isn’t necessarily untouchable heading into Barcelona (though she will certainly be the favorite).  Teammate Elizabeth Pelton pushed Franklin at World Championship Trials, and a pair of experienced Aussies who have made noise on the international stage will do everything in their power to give Franklin a run for her money.

THE FIELD:

The heavy favorite is defending World and Olympic champion Missy Franklin of the United States.  The Colorado teenager has been absolutely dominant in this event, easily posting the top time in the world over each of the last three years.  Her world record swim in London last summer (2:04.06) is 1.8 seconds quicker than the next best textile time (from Anastasia Zueva of Russia, who isn’t swimming the 200 back in Barcelona).  Though it would be easy for Franklin to become complacent with her results from last summer and fall back a step as we’ve seen with a  majority of the top Team USA swimmers after the Olympic year, Franklin has stayed the course (it’s probably easier to maintain a routine when you’re still in high school).  She may not beat her world record performance from a year ago, but in general, she seems to only be getting better as a swimmer.  A scary thought for the rest of the world as she heads to Berkeley this fall to join arguably the best backstroke training group in the world.

Fellow Cal Bear and Team USA swimmer Elizabeth Pelton could be the closest challenger.  Franklin’s future teammate has bounced back from a heartbreaking Olympic Trials (she finished third in the 200 back and 200 IM) in a big way, smashing the American record in the short course yards 200 back at NCAA’s, and becoming the fourth fastest textile performer of all time last month.  Her 2:06.29 from World Championship Trials was also a best time by 1.2 seconds, just 0.61 behind Franklin, good for second in the world this year.  By challenging Franklin at Trials, Pelton proved she has reemerged as the medal contender we thought she would be after her third-ranked swim back at 2010 Pan Pacs.

The two Americans will face stiff challenges from a pair of Aussies, Belinda Hocking and Meagan Nay.  Hocking had a disappointing performance in the 200 back last summer in London, failing to make the championship final after posting the fourth fastest time in 2012 at Australian Trials. Hocking is once again near the top of the ranks, however, and will look to repeat her 2011 Worlds performance, where earned a silver medal and became the second fastest textile swimmer in history (behind Franklin).  Nay has been juuuuust out of medal contention on the world stage each of the last two years, touching sixth in 2011 and fifth in 2012.  With Elizabeth Beisel, Anastasia Zueva, and Elizabeth Simmonds out of the field (more on them in a moment), Nay is actually the second-highest returner from the Olympic field, and the third fastest swimmer overall.

There are a number of past medalists and historically top-ranked swimmers not competing in this event in Barcelona, including last summer’s silver and bronze medalists.  Elizabeth Beisel, who won bronze in London, was beaten by Pelton at U.S. Trials, locking her out of this event.  Anastasia Zueva of Russia posted the second best textile performance ever to win silver last summer, but after taking time off and then breaking her foot earlier this season, she has elected to focus solely on the 100 back.  Elizabeth Simmonds, who has been in the top five of the world rankings each of the last three years, was left off the British team entirely after a subpar 2013 switching training programs (she won this at British Trials, but failed to break 2:10).  Japan’s Aya Terakawa has dropped the 200 backstroke from her program in 2013, despite being ranked in the world’s top 5 leading into the Olympic Games.

If you skipped over the text, went straight to the picks, and were left scratching your head at the inclusion of Federica Pellegrini… no, that’s not a misprint.  The Italian superstar has elected to give up the 200 and 400 freestyle events for this season (despite holding the world record in both of them) to focus on the backstrokes, and has quickly emerged as a medal contender.  She clocked a lifetime best 2:08.05 at Italian Nationals in mid-April, one of the top five times in the world at that point (she currently sits sixth).  With her background as a 400 freestyler, expect Pellegrini to have some pretty quick closing speed.

Note: Pellegrini will return her focus to the mid-distance frees this coming fall.

Speaking of closing speed, we have to mention Ye Shiwen of China.  The current 400 IM world record holder and two-time Olympic gold medalist known for her wicked freestyle legs will certainly bring plenty to the table in Barcelona.  Ye swam a lifetime best by 2+ seconds to win Chinese Nationals in 2:09.12, good for fourth in the world (she now sits ninth).  She has been known to rise to the occasion, and if Ye is anywhere near the field, she could storm home and sneak away with a medal.

We should also see Sinead Russell, a returning Olympic finalist and Canadian record holder, make her way through semifinals.  Russell was the third fastest 200 backstroker in the country as a freshman at the University of Florida this past short course season, and while she hasn’t put up anything particularly special in the long course pool, expect her to swim considerably faster on 100% rest in Barcelona.

THE PICKS:

1.  Missy Franklin, United States – 2:04.06
2. Elizabeth Pelton, United States – 2:06.29
3. Belinda Hocking, Australia – 2:06.06
4. Meagan Nay, Australia – 2:07.16
5. Federica Pellegrini, Italy – 2:08.05
6. Ye Shiwen, China – 2:09.12
7. Sinead Russell, Canada – 2:08.04
8. Daria Ustinova, Russia – 2:08.39

Read the full article in SwimSwam.

Missy Franklin and Katie Ledecky lead US women’s high expectations at swim worlds in Barcelona
7/24/2013

BARCELONA, Spain — Rebecca Soni is taking the year off. Allison Schmitt didn’t qualify.

Still, with teenagers Missy Franklin and Katie Ledecky leading the way, the U.S. women’s swim team has lofty goals at the world championships, where the traditional pool events start Sunday.

“Yes, we don’t have Rebecca or Allison, but Missy and Ledecky are here, and Breeja Larson is starting to come into her own. And then we’ve got veterans like Dana Vollmer and Natalie Coughlin. So it’s a pretty good mix of young swimmers and veterans,” U.S. women’s coach Dave Salo said Tuesday.

“I think we’re still real solid and we’re going to do some damage on the podium,” Salo added.

Expect Franklin to do a big chunk of that damage. She’s planning to swim a Michael Phelps-like load of eight events inside the Palau Sant Jordi, the arena where Phelps first swam an extensive program a decade ago at the last worlds in Barcelona.

That’s one more event than Franklin swam at last year’s London Games, when she won four golds and a bronze. Her schedule this time includes the 100- and 200-meter freestyle, all three backstroke events — 50, 100 and 200 — and all three relays.

“It is a big load, but she had a big preparation for that in London, and I think she’s able to handle it,” Salo said. “And we have people to help on the relay prelims, so that will give her a chance to rest a bit.”

No swimmer — male or female — has ever won eight golds at a world championships. Phelps, of course, won a record eight at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Franklin finished fourth in the 200 free and fifth in the 100 in London, and she has focused on improving those events.

“Missy is swimming much more maturely in the 100 and 200 free,” Salo said.

While Franklin’s potential was well known before London, Ledecky burst onto the scene a year ago as a 15-year-old when she won the 800 free with the second fastest time in history.

Then at the U.S. trials last month, Ledecky became the first American woman to qualify for worlds in the 200, 400, 800 and 1,500 free. And even though she’s wavered over the 200, Salo said she’s planning to swim all four events.

“The 200 might be a bit of a stretch, but she’s training really well and I think she has a lot in her,” he said.

Without Soni in the breaststroke events, veteran Jessica Hardy and the 21-year-old Larson, at her first worlds, will get their chances.

The 30-year-old Coughlin is the oldest member of the team. She’s also the only American woman here who also competed at the previous worlds in Barcelona a decade ago.

Vollmer, at 25, is the other established veteran and a favorite in the 100 and 200 fly.

Then there’s 20-year-old Maya Dirado, who showed off her versatility by qualifying for the 200 fly, 400 IM and 4x200 relay after a strong NCAA season at Stanford.

Read the full article in The Washington Post.

Incoming Cal freshman Missy Franklin ready to dive into worlds
7/18/2013

The world's top female swimmer is coming to Cal, but first she's planning to reassert her dominance on the global stage.

One of the most famous incoming freshmen in the history of Cal athletics, Missy Franklin, made a splash at the U.S. championships in Indianapolis last month, winning four national titles and setting a U.S. record in the 100-meter backstroke. Now, the 18-year-old is looking to carry the momentum into international competition with another eye-dropping performance at the FINA World Championships in Barcelona, Spain, which open on Friday, though the swimming portion won't begin until July 28.

"I've been training hard and want to swim fast," Franklin said via email. "It's really such an honor to be representing my country on the world stage."

After winning four gold medals at the 2012 London Olympics, more than any other female athlete at the games, Franklin returned to Aurora, Colo., last fall and graduated from Regis Jesuit High School in May.

Rather than turning pro and potentially earning millions of dollars in endorsements, Franklin decided to enroll at Cal, where she'll swim for 2012 U.S. Olympic coach Teri McKeever. Franklin is expected to compete at Cal for two years before turning pro in advance of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.

Franklin said Cal felt like home from the minute she walked onto campus for her official visit.

"The swim team was obviously a big draw, along with coach Teri McKeever, but Cal is a nationally renowned school for its academics and my education is extremely important to me," she said, adding: "I couldn't imagine going to any other school."

After the World Championships, Franklin will return to Colorado, pack and head off to Berkeley, where classes begin on Aug. 29.

"I'm sure I'll drag my parents to do some dorm-room shopping when we get into town," Franklin said. "I'm going to do my best to spend as much time as possible with my parents and close friends. ... I can't believe moving day is coming so soon!"

At this point, Franklin is leaning toward a degree is social welfare, but she isn't committing to anything just yet.

"I am very interested in education and non-profits, so this major would certainly prepare me for these careers," she said. "I am keeping my options open, however, and I'm even taking an exciting class in marine biology as that subject has always been fascinating."

But before she hits the books, Franklin will attempt to follow up her dazzling performance at nationals in the worlds in Barcelona, where she'll be competing in seven events: 200-meter freestyle, 100 freestyle, 200 backstroke, 100 backstroke, 50 backstroke, 400 medley relay and 800 free relay.

"My goal in Barcelona for world championships is to represent Team USA as best I can," Franklin said.

FINA World Championships

WHEN: Friday to Aug. 4

WHERE: Barcelona, Spain

SWIMMING: Swimming competition begins July 28; diving, water polo and synchronized swimming all start sooner

FRANKLIN'S EVENTS: 200 freestyle, 100 freestyle, 200 backstroke, 100 backstroke, 50 backstroke, 400 medley relay and 800 free relay

Read the full article at the SF Examiner.

Four-time Olympic champion Missy Franklin a vastly improved swimmer
7/18/2013

It's 6:30 a.m. and Missy Franklin is in the middle of swimming 4,700 meters in 90 minutes at Lowry LC Pool, a six-lane, Olympic-length pool with the rudimentary trappings associated with a military base. In six hours, she will be back again.

This has been Franklin's life, adding a few other pools around town, since she was 7 years old. The number of swimmers she beat on her way to becoming the 2012 FINA swimmer of the year is a mere drop in the sea of nationally ranked girls who hung up the goggles before their first junior high dance.

For Franklin, 18, burnout is a foreign word; peaking is as distant a worry as social security. A year after winning four Olympic gold medals and a bronze medal at the London Games, Franklin heads into Sunday's world championships in Barcelona, Spain, a vastly improved swimmer.

"I have such big goals and such big dreams and I've definitely touched on those, but I'm nowhere near where I want to be," Franklin said. "Having that big of dreams helps you. With last year in London, I really realize what it takes to get there."

It doesn't always work that way. Her coach with the Colorado Stars, Todd Schmitz, has a dog-eared article headlined "The 10-and-Under Wonder." It's a study showing that less than 10 percent of age-group swimmers ranked in the top 10 at age 10 were ever ranked at age 18.

Fast fades don't just happen at 10, either. Allison Schmitt won Olympic gold in the 200-meter freestyle, silver in the 400 freestyle and teamed with Franklin to win gold in the 400 freestyle relay and the 800 medley relay.

At the U.S. nationals in Indianapolis last month, Schmitt didn't even make the world team.

"She worked so hard to get to that level and said, 'OK, I did it,' " Schmitz said. "It's an important lesson for Missy to learn at 18 years old. It doesn't matter how old you are or how good you are. If you don't continue to put in the work in this sport, somebody's going to knock you off the pedestal.

"There's always the next Missy Franklin out there somewhere training hard."

And, yes, Franklin can improve. People forget she didn't medal in London in the 100 and 200 freestyle events. She missed a bronze medal in the 200 by 0.01 and finished fifth in the 100.

But in Indianapolis, her freestyle went from promising to medal favorite. She won the 100 (53.43) and 200 (1:55.56) in times that bettered what she did in London (53.64 and 1:55.82).

"Her mind-set was different this year," Schmitz said. "Last year going into the Olympics, she kind of told herself she'd been training more backstroke. Not necessarily. I looked at it. We did almost half and half, the same as this year. But I realized last year she didn't have the confidence in freestyle, so this year I made sure I kept talking about freestyle."

That stroke has now almost caught up with her backstroke, where she's the world-record holder in the 200 and American-record holder in the 100.

Asked about her new confidence level in freestyle, she said: "Huge. Through all the Grand Prix and where my times were at Indy, I'm very, very confident in my freestyles. I was happy with my freestyles in London, but I definitely want to make them better.

"I really feel like we're on that road right now to Barcelona."

Expect another major medal haul. Franklin is entered in eight events, including five individual. How many will produce gold is the only question. She's ranked first in the world in both backstrokes and second in the 100 free behind Cate Campbell, a member of Australia's Olympic gold medal-winning 4x100 freestyle relay team in London.

Franklin is ranked second in the 200 freestyle behind France's Camille Muffat, the silver medalist in London and gold medalist in the 400 freestyle. Swimming World magazine picked Australia to beat the U.S. in the two freestyle relays.

Franklin also is entered in the 50 backstroke, where she made the team in her only race of the year.

The Barcelona schedule, which begins Sunday with the 400 freestyle relay, sets up perfectly. The only night she swims three races is Aug. 1 — when she does the 100 freestyle semifinals, 50 backstroke final and the 4x200 freestyle relay final. Joining Franklin in the relay is Cherry Creek High School graduate Jordan Mattern, who swam for the Colorado Stars and just finished her sophomore year at Georgia.

"The best thing about it is Missy did the double in the Olympics 12 minutes apart," Schmitz said. "In between the 50 back final and the 800 relay start is 25 minutes. In a perfect world, she anchors the relay. Then she'll have almost 30 minutes, and it's a 50 back."

"It's like a little baby warm-up," Franklin said.

The difference this year? Unlike the London Games, where she burst onto sports' mainstream, she is the face of international women's swimming. She will have "USA" on her cap, but a target on her back.

"It was definitely different than trials meets I've been to before," Franklin said of the U.S. nationals. "I wouldn't necessarily say it's a target, but it was different for me being on that higher end of that. It was fun because it's like Allison Schmitt. You never really know where people are at, especially after the Olympics."

50 backstroke

1. Yuanhui Fu, China, 27.22

2. Aya Terakawa, Japan, 27.51

3. Rachel Bootsma, U.S., 27.68

4. Xiang Liu, China, 27.76

5. Etiene Medeiros, Brazil, 27.88

9. Missy Franklin, U.S., 27.98

 

100 backstroke

1. Missy Franklin, U.S., 58.67

2. Aya Tarakawa, Japan, 58.84

3. Emily Seebohm, Australia, 59.17

4. Elizabeth Pelton, U.S., 59.27

5. Yuanhui Fu, China, 59.58

200 backstroke

1. Missy Franklin, U.S., 2:05.68

2. Elizabeth Pelton, U.S., 2:06.29

3. Belinda Hocking, Australia, 2:07.17

4. Elizabeth Beisel, U.S., 2:07.64

5. Meagen Nay, Australia, 2:07.96

100 freestyle

1. Cate Campbell, Australia, 52.83

2. Missy Franklin, U.S., 53.43

3. Camille Muffat, France, 53.51

4. Sarah Sjostrom, Sweden, 53.66

5. Bronte Campbell, Australia, 53.72

200 freestyle

1. Camille Muffat, France, 1:55.48

2. Missy Franklin, U.S., 1:55.56

3. Bronte Barratt, Australia, 1:56.05

4. Federica Pellegrini, Italy, 1:56.51

5. Sarah Sjostrom, Sweden, 1:56.55

Where missy ranks

50-meter backstroke

1. Yuanhui Fu, China, 27.22

2. Aya Terakawa, Japan, 27.51

3. Rachel Bootsma, U.S., 27.68

4. Xiang Liu, China, 27.76

5. Etiene Medeiros, Brazil, 27.88

9. Missy Franklin, U.S., 27.98

100 backstroke

1. Missy Franklin, U.S., 58.67

2. Aya Tarakawa, Japan, 58.84

3. Emily Seebohm, Australia, 59.17

4. Elizabeth Pelton, U.S., 59.27

5. Yuanhui Fu, China, 59.58

200 backstroke

1. Missy Franklin, U.S., 2:05.68

2. Elizabeth Pelton, U.S., 2:06.29

3. Belinda Hocking, Australia, 2:07.17

4. Elizabeth Beisel, U.S., 2:07.64

5. Meagen Nay, Australia, 2:07.96

100 freestyle

1. Cate Campbell, Australia, 52.83

2. Missy Franklin, U.S., 53.43

3. Camille Muffat, France, 53.51

4. Sarah Sjostrom, Sweden, 53.66

5. Bronte Campbell, Australia, 53.72

200 freestyle

1. Camille Muffat, France, 1:55.48

2. Missy Franklin, U.S., 1:55.56

3. Bronte Barratt, Australia, 1:56.05

4. Federica Pellegrini, Italy, 1:56.51

5. Sarah Sjostrom, Sweden, 1:56.55

Read the full article in The Denver Post.

Michael Phelps, Missy Franklin and Jessica Long win 2013 ESPY Awards
7/18/2013

Michael Phelps wins an ESPY Award in the Best Male Olympian category. Also in the running for the award was swimmer, Ryan Lochte and decathlete, Ashton Eaton.

Phelps’ second ESPY Award of the night is for the Best Record Breaking Performance. Phelps tallied up 22 Olympic Medals throughout his Olympic Career in his fourth and most recent Olympic Games. 18 of his 22 Olympic medals were Gold.

Missy Franklin was nominated for Best Female Athlete as well as Best Female Olympian. Franklin won ESPY for Best Female Olympian. She was nominated for the award with Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas, two members of the “Fierce Five.” Tennis player, Serena Williams, won the ESPY for Best Female Athlete.

Along with the Best Male Olympian, Phelps was also nominated for Best Record Braking-Performance, Best Male Athlete, and Best Play, although his best play nomination was for a 153 foot putt, rather than for his swimming abilities. LeBron James won the ESPY for the Best Male Athlete.

Jessica Long was nominated for an ESPY in the category of Best Female Olympian. She wins the ESPY for the third time. Also nominated for the award was swimmer, Victoria Arlen, Muffy Davis, Tatyana McFadden, and Shirley Reilly.

Lt. Bradley Snider was nominated for Best Male Athlete with a Disability. Jeremy Campbell, a pentathlon athlete, won the award.

The ESPY for the Best Women’s College Athletic Program went to North Carolina. North Carolina Women’s Swimming finished 15th in the 2013 CSCAA Coaches Poll. UCLA won the ESPY for the Best Men’s College Athletic Program. UCLA has not had a men’s swimming program since the team was cut in 1994.

 

 2013 ESPY Awards:

Best Coach/Manager: Rick Pitino

Best MLB Player: Miguel Cabrera

Best Male Olympian: Michael Phelps

Best Male Collegiate Athlete: Johnny Manziel

Best Driver: Ryan Hunter-Reay

Best MLS Player: Thierry Henry

Best WNBA Player: Candace Parker

Best Championship Performance: LeBron James

Best NBA Player: LeBron James

Best NFL Player: Adrian Peterson

Best Breakthrough Athlete: Colin Kaepernick

Best Comeback: Adrian Peterson

Best Game: Miami Heat Vs. San Antonio Spurs (Game 6)

Best NHL Player: Sidney Crosby

Best Female Tennis Player: Serena Williams

Best Female Athete: Serena Williams

Best Upset: Florida Gulf Coast University over Georgetown (NCAA Tournament)

Best Record Breaking Performance: Michael Phelps

Best Moment: Jack Hoffman – TD run in Nebraska Spring Game

Best Male Athlete: LeBron James

Best Female Olympian: Missy Franklin

Best Male Fighter: Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Best Female Collegiate Athlete: Brittany Griner

Best Male Tennis Player: Novak Djokovic

Best International Athlete: Usain Bolt

Best Male Golfer: Tiger Woods

Best Female Golfer: Stacy Lewis

Best Team: Miami Heat

Best Female Athlete with a Disability: Jessica Long

Best Female Athlete with a Disability: Jeremy Campbell

Best Play: Jadeveon Clowney’s Hit

Best Male Action Sport Athlete: Nyjah Huston

Best Female Action Sport Athlete: Stephanie Gilmore

Best Bowler: Pete Weber

Best Jockey: Joel Rosario

Best Men’s College Athletic Programs: UCLA

Best Women’s College Athletic Programs: North Carolina

Arthur Ashe Award For Courage: Robin Roberts

Jimmy V ESPY for Perseverance: Dick and Rick Hoyt

Read the full article at SwimSwam.

Chat with Missy Franklin
7/12/2013

Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, U.S. Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin stops by to chat about her two ESPYS nominations. The ESPYS airs live July 17 on ESPN at 9 p.m. ET.

Franklin, @FranklinMissy, starred on the 2012 U.S. Olympic swim team at the London Games, winning five medals, including four gold. She broke the world record in the 200m backstroke, while setting the American record in the 100m backstroke.

For her impact on the U.S. Olympic team, Franklin is nominated for two ESPYS - Best Female Athlete and Best Female U.S. Olympian. Voting ends July 17.

Send your questions now and join Franklin Friday at 2 p.m. ET!

Read the full article at ESPN.

Missy Franklin soon to say goodbye to longtime swim coach Todd Schmitz
7/12/2013

Missy Franklin leaves for Barcelona on Tuesday, but on Aug. 23 she leaves Colorado for good. She departs for college at California, leaving behind the state she helped make famous for swimming and the man who helped make her great.

On Aug. 4, after her leg in the 400 medley relay at the World Championships, Franklin and her coach, Todd Schmitz, will have the longest embrace of any visitors to Spain this summer. Schmitz, her coach with the Colorado Stars, will hand her off to Cal coach Teri McKeever, who merely gets the world's top swimmer of 2012 and the fastest female 200-meter backstroker who ever lived.

And what of the man who helped turn her into a four-time Olympic gold medalist and world-record holder? How will he react when she steps out of the pool under his tutelage for the last time?

"He's a crier," Franklin said.

Schmitz started coaching Franklin, 18, when she was 7 years old. Granted, there will be tears but they'll dry in a hurry.

"At no point will I think we'll never not talk," Schmitz said. "The best part about it is even if I'm not there on a daily basis or a workout basis or I'm her coach, that doesn't mean she's not going to text me or come back at Thanksgiving or Christmas. That's the best thing about it. I don't expect her to suddenly delete my number and not talk to me."

Franklin blossomed under the Metro State grad, who was scoffed at by more established coaches who couldn't understand how an average Division II swimmer from North Dakota could build an Olympic champion in the swimming backwaters of Colorado.

But Franklin broke her first national age-group record at 12, won her first international medal at 15, broke her first world record at age 16 and was the star of the London Olympics at age 17.

The biggest gift Schmitz, 34, gave to Franklin is an unabashed love of swimming. In a Swimming World article entitled "The 10-and-Under Wonder," a study showed that of the girls ranked in the top 10 nationally at 10 and under, only 11 percent were ranked when they reached the 17-18 age group.

Franklin didn't get burned out. She burned hotter.

"I wouldn't have a career without him," Franklin said. "Every coach has something about him that makes him special. Todd and I have a relationship that's special in itself. We've always been more than athlete and coach. He could always tell when I'm upset or had a bad day and I can always tell when he's had a bad day.

"That's why we're able to work so well together. It's so much more than swimming."

Since Franklin's international emergence and Schmitz's inclusion on the Olympic coaching staff, he has received offers to leave the Stars. However, the Stars have won more state titles than any club in Colorado history, as well as two national club titles. Membership totals 165. He turns away more than 200 kids every fall.

Getting their own pool is still a distant dream. Franklin must check her schedule every morning to make sure she doesn't crash someone's aqua aerobics class. But there's something to be said for training at a mile high.

"I don't want to move just to move and get in the college ranks," Schmitz said. "I've got a lot going on now that's pretty good. I'll listen to people but the people I've listened to don't say the right things.

"At the end of the day I want control. I want to hire my own staff."

But first, he has another World Championships to coach.

"On Aug. 4 in our last day in our last race we want to, quote-unquote, leave it all in the pool," Schmitz said. "Get out and be proud of what we've done."

Read the full article in The Denver Post.

MaxPreps 2012-13 Female Athlete of the Year: Missy Franklin
7/3/2013

A prodigy runner and a prodigy swimmer.

Picking between Bronxville (N.Y.) junior middle distance sensation Mary Cain and Regis Jesuit (Aurora, Colo.) senior swimmer Missy Franklin is like choosing between Porsche models.

In the last eight months, Cain has shattered American high school records in the 800 meters, 1,500 and 5,000.

But last August, Franklin went upon the world stage and brought home five Olympic medals, four of them gold. She then, showing her heart and good nature, swam for her school team and chipped in a couple more state records.

The major accomplishments for both athletes came while competing against non-high school athletes. They are, after all, prodigies.

In a season filled with prep phenoms — boxer Claressa Shields and gymnast Gabby Douglas also brought home Olympic gold medals from London — Franklin earned the nod.

Four golds against the world is about impossible to match.

At 17, Franklin swept the women's backstroke events, taking the 100-meter and 200-meter events. She currently holds the world record in the 200 backstroke (long and short course) and the American record in both the 100 and 200 backstroke (long course).

What we liked most is that she finished out her prep career at Regis in the winter, winning two more individual titles and anchoring two relays to victory. She led the Raiders to a second-straight 5A state title.

She won the 200-yard individual medley in a national record of 1:56.86, the 500 freestyle in a state record 4:41.72 and anchored the championship 200 and 400 freestyle relays.

Nice sendoff.

After the state finals at the Edora Pool Ice Center, she told the Denver Post: "Now, I realize why I did this. It's being with my girls for the last time. It's the very last swim with all of them and for me to have a Regis cap on my head."

About the time Franklin was wrapping up her prep swim career, Cain, aided by her first-year coach and former American marathon record holder Alberto Salazar, went on a six-month record roller coaster ride.

She set an American high school 5,000-meter record in the Portland Track Festival at Lewis & Clark College by finishing in 15 minutes, 45.46 seconds. That came a week after Cain broke the national high school and natonal junior record in the 800, going 1:59.51 at the Prefontaine Classic. And that came only 15 days after she broke her own 1,500 national mark by going 4:04.62 in the USATF Oxy High Performance Meet at Occidental College in Los Angeles.

All that came after a superlative indoor track season. On Jan. 26 in New York City, she ran the indoor mile in 4:32.78, breaking a 41-year national mark by almost 6 seconds. It was also faster than the 1982 outdoor mark of 4:35.24 set by Polly Plumer.

On Feb. 2 at the Boston Indoor Games, she set an indoor 2-mile record by going 9:38.68. On Feb. 16, she lowered her own mile mark by going 4:28.25 — a time that was the fastest by an American woman of any age during the 2013 indoor season.

She topped it all on June 22 in Des Moines Iowa, becoming the youngest American athlete to make the team at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. She did that by placing in the top three of the 1,500 – she placed second.

She'll join the USA team in Russia for the World Champions in August.

"You never know where you're going to be years from now," Cain told reporters after her race in Des Moines. "I have the greatest support team — coaches, parents, teammates — so I can still be around years from now. But it's nice to get on that team when you're running good."

On the 40th anniversary of Title IX — equal rights for girls' and women's sports — it was fitting there was so much success among high school girls athletes.

Douglas was actually the AP Female Athlete of the Year over Franklin for capturing the all-around gymnastics gold medal and leading the American women win the team gold medal for only the second time.

Douglas, from Virginia Beach, Va., is home-schooled and doesn't compete for a high school team. Thus she wasn't eligible for this award.

Likewise, Shields wasn't eligible because there is no boxing team at her Northwestern (Detroit) High School. She became the first American woman to win a boxing gold medal by taking the middleweight crown over Russian Nadezda Torlopova with a 19-12 decision. She was featured in a MaxPreps Beyond the X profile before the Olympics.

Other girls in the discussion for Athlete of the Year who participated in high school athletics:

* Morgan Andrews won her second-straight girls soccer national Player of the Year award from Gatorade after the Milford (N.H.) standout scored 31 goals and added 18 assists for the state-champion Spartans (16-3-1). Andrews is the captain of the U.S. Soccer Under-17 Women's National Team and a member of the Under-20 and Under-23 national team player pools.

Morgan Andrews won two straight Gatorade Soccer Player of the Year awards.
File photo by Mark Camp
Morgan Andrews won two straight Gatorade
Soccer Player of the Year awards.
* MaxPreps Girls Basketball Player of the Year Diamond DeShields, a 6-foot-2 wing, averaged 26 points, 7 rebounds, 4.5 steals and 3.8 assists per game, leading Norcross (Ga.) to a state AAAAAA title, a 28-5 record and No. 15 Xcellent 25 national ranking. The daughter of former Major League Baseball infielder Delino DeShields will play at North Carolina in the fall.

* Daniel (Central, S.C.) right-handed pitcher Carley Hoover posted a 16-4 record with a gaudy 338 strikeouts in 138 innings. She also hit .500 with four homers and 45 runs. She'll play next year at Stanford.

* Papillion-LaVista South (Papillion, Neb.) 6-3 senior twins Amber and Kadie Rolfzen were MaxPreps co-Players of the Year in volleyball while leading their team (42-1) to a third-straight Nebraska A Division state title and a No. 4 national ranking. Amber recorded 390 kills, 283 digs, 34 aces and 38 blocks while Kadie totaled 369 kills, 49 aces, 38 blocks and 340 digs. The twins will play next season at Nebraska.

* Mercedes Russell, a 6-5 basketball center, led Springfield (Ore.) to a 24-4 record and the state 5A championship game by averaging 25.1 points, 12.3 rebounds, 5.5 blocks and 3.9 assists per game. She was the Gatorade and Naismith Girls High School Player of the Year. Russell, who was surprised with the Gatorade award by Maya Moore, will play at Tennessee next season.

Read the full article in MaxPreps.

Missy Franklin to Take 2nd American Spot in 50 Backstroke at Worlds
7/3/2013

USA Swimming has confirmed a few more spots for the 2013 USA Swimming World Championships that will take place in Barcelona at the end of July.

They affirmed the selection of Karlee Bispo to swim as a part of the 800 free relay and Katie Ledecky’s scratch from the same event. They also confirmed that Shannon Vreeland from Georgia, who was 3rd in the 200 free behind Ledecky, would take that individual spot.

Other new announcements include adding Matt Grevers and Kevin Cordes officially to the second spots in the 50 backstroke and 50 breaststroke, respectively. Both swimmers finished 2nd in those events, but it was on the basis of their 100 meter finishes (Grevers was 2nd in the 100 back, Cordes won the 100 breast) that they earned these swims. Neither was a great surprise.

Nor were the additions of Michael McBroom to the men’s 800 or Chloe Sutton to the women’s 1500. They were runners-up in those races, and were the logical choice to swim them.

A bit more uncertain was who would swim the second spot in the men’s 50 fly, and that will go to Grevers as well after finishing 2nd in the 50 fly, giving him 5 events in total. Ryan Lochte, who was runner-up in the 100 fly, would’ve had the first shot at the 50 fly, but it would seem he declined it.

Missy Franklin, despite media reports to the contrary, is entered in the 50 backstroke. That gives her 5 individual events, and a triple on the meet’s 5th day (Thursday) with the 100 free semifinal, the 50 back final and the 800 free relay final.

Breeja Larson was confirmed as the second 50 breaststroker, Dana Vollmer will be the 2nd 50 butterflier on the basis of her win in the 100 fly (which makes her scratch in the 50 at Trials look genius).

The full roster can be seen here. No additional athletes can be entered in the meet, though events could theoretically change before the final FINA deadline.

So, the new additions in summary:

    Katie Ledecky scratches individual 200 free
    Karlee Bispo added to roster in 800 free relay
    Shannon Vreeland takes Ledecky’s spot in individual 200
    Matt Grevers adds 50 back and 50 fly
    Kevin Cordes adds 50 breast
    Missy Franklin adds 50 back
    Dana Vollmer adds 50 fly
    Breeja Larson adds 50 breast
    Chloe Sutton adds 1500 free
    Michael McBroom adds 800 free

Read the full article in SwimSwam.

Five things we learned from USA Swimming nationals
7/1/2013

The first U.S. swimming nationals in the post-Michael Phelps era are in the books. The IUPUI Natatorium housed champion performances from USA Swimming’s two headliners (Ryan Lochte, Missy Franklin) and potential breakouts (Kevin Cordes, Maya DiRado among them). As the world championships approach, starting July 28 at Barcelona’s Palau Sant Jordi, let’s look at the lasting storylines from Indianapolis.

1. Ryan Lochte sets up for his busiest international meet ever. The 11-time Olympic medalist entered 11 events before Tuesday’s start, but he was never going to swim that kind of marathon schedule over five days. He scratched down to a handful (notably cutting the 400-meter individual medley).

Lochte didn’t set any records but fared well after busy post-Olympic dryland activities. He won the 200 freestyle, 200 backstroke and 200 individual medley and placed second in the 100 butterfly, an event he’s now expected to swim for the first time at a major international meet. He took fourth in the 100 free to qualify for all three relays at worlds.

Lochte will swim seven events in Barcelona if he enters everything he’s qualified for. He has never swum more than six events at an Olympics or world championships. The problem lies on August 2, when he’s slated for a triple in the evening session — the 200 back final, 100 butterfly semis and 4×200 free relay final.

2. Missy Franklin goes five for five. Franklin, 18, was the swimmer of the meet. She won four of her five events and placed second in the outlier, qualifying for worlds in every one. She set a nationals record in the 100 free and U.S. Open and nationals records in the 100 back and 200 back. The future Cal collegian also won the 200 free and was runner-up in the 50 back, which sets up a potential but unlikely eight-medal attempt at worlds.

It’s probably not going to happen because Franklin would have to swim three events on August 1 — the 50 back final, 100 free semis and the 4×200 free relay final. She’ll likely opt out of the 50 back and go with the same seven-event schedule she had at the 2012 Olympics, where she medaled in five of seven races.

3. Natalie Coughlin’s sprint switch a success. The most decorated active Olympian qualified for her sixth world championships by winning the 50 free. She also placed fifth in the 100 free to make that relay team in Barcelona. The results cemented Coughlin’s decision to focus on the sprint freestyles and drop her patented backstroke.

At 30, Coughlin is no longer seeking Lochte- or Franklin-like schedules (she won five medals in 2005 and in 2007), but she’s in position to add to her female record of 18 worlds medals in the 4×100 free relay. The 50 free will be tougher; she’s ranked ninth in the world this year.

4. Katie Ledecky and Connor Jaeger complete distance triples. Ledecky, 16, and Jaeger, 22, swept the 400, 800 and 1,500 free events. As impressive as that is, several have medaled at worlds in all three distance swims — but never an American since the non-Olympic men’s 800 and women’s 1,500 were added to the worlds program in 2001.

Both Ledecky and Jaeger showed improvement over last year’s Olympic trials, where they each qualified for one Olympic event. Ledecky, the 2012 Olympic 800 champ, set a nationals record in winning the 1,500 by 20 seconds. She bettered her 2012 efforts in the 400 free (from third to first) and the 200 free (ninth to second).

Jaeger was second in the 1,500 at the Olympic trials and sixth in London before winning in Indy. He also improved on a sixth-place finish in the trials 400 by touching first this past week. Can Ledecky and Jaeger medal in the 400, 800 and 1,500 at worlds? It’s certainly possible. Ledecky is ranked in the top three in the world in all three. Jaeger is ranked no lower than fifth.

5. Kevin Cordes leads worlds rookies. The year after an Olympics always produces new faces to track for the next three years, and this past week was no different. Stanford’s Maya DiRado (200 fly, 400 IM, 4×200 free relay) and open-water swimmer Becca Mann, 15, were among them.

Rising University of Arizona junior Kevin Cordes made the greatest impression, sweeping the 100 and 200 breaststrokes and placing second in the 50 breast. No U.S. man has won a world breaststroke title since Brendan Hansen in 2007, but Cordes, 19, will more likely than not end that drought. He’s ranked third in the world in the 100 and second in the 200.

Read the full article at NBC Sports.

Missy Franklin headlines youth movement at U.S. nationals
7/1/2013

INDIANAPOLIS — Missy Franklin's nationals are over. Yet it is stupefying to realize her international swimming career is merely beginning.

The 18-year-old from Centennial, Colo., won her fourth title of the week Friday night at the Natatorium at IUPUI. She clocked 58.67 seconds — fastest in the world this year — in the 100-meter backstroke at the Phillips 66 National Championships.

The time is a U.S. Open and meet record, and amazingly close to the American record of 58.33 that earned her Olympic gold last year. She won three other London golds, and with five more in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, she would exceed Jenny Thompson's eight for the most Olympic golds ever by a female swimmer.

She would be 21 then. Maybe Michael Phelps should get back in the water to prevent her from catching his record of 18 Olympic golds.

MORE: Franklin hasn't slowed down since London

YOUTH: Ledecky, 16, shows her speed at nationals

That's so far away. The main goal, she said, is to get faster before the World Championships, which open July 28 in Barcelona. She said her coach, Todd Schmitz, has already cautioned he will be "all over her" in training.

Previously, she set meet records in the 100 freestyle (53.43) and 200 backstroke (2:05.68) and won the 200 freestyle (1:55.56). She swam under the American record in the 50 backstroke, but finished second to future Cal-Berkeley teammate Rachel Bootsma.

Franklin pulled out of Saturday's 200 individual medley, but she could win as many as eight world medals, including relays. The five-day nationals conclude Saturday with preliminaries at 9 a.m. ET and finals at 6 p.m.

Franklin said, "I absolutely love Indy," a venue in which she set her first age-group record. But as long as there is a pool, she loves it about anywhere.

"No matter what time of year it is, what year it is, if I get in the pool for practice, I'm going to work as hard as I can," she said, "because I know that's an opportunity I've been given to get better. And not everyone has been given that opportunity. So that's a blessing in itself."

The theme of these nationals has been youth.

Katie Ledecky, 16, of Bethesda, Md., won the women's 400 freestyle in 4:04.05, ranking third in the world this year. She previously won the 800 free — an event in which she took London gold — and was second to Franklin in the 200 free.

Kevin Cordes, 19, of Naperville, Ill., won the men's 100 breaststroke in 59.99, making him the third person in the world this year under 60 seconds.

Ryan Murphy, 17, of Jacksonville, Fla., was edged out of a worlds spot in the 100 backstroke despite lowering his age-group record to 53.38. David Plummer beat Olympic gold medalist Matt Grevers, 53.10 to 53.25.

Read the full article in USA Today.

Missy Franklin wins 100 back
7/1/2013

INDIANAPOLIS -- Missy Franklin closed out the U.S. national championships with a flourish.

She won the 100-meter backstroke in record time, hugged her friend and future college teammate before immediately turning her attention to next month's world championships.

If she swims as well in Barcelona as she did in Indianapolis, America's teenage swimming sensation could rule the world. She was the only swimmer to break 30 seconds over the final 50 meters in the 100 back Friday, finishing in 58.67 to win her fourth national title of the week and set a U.S. Open and long-course nationals record. Elizabeth Pelton was second in 59.27.

"Actually, I am surprised. I'm really, really happy with my times here," Franklin said as she stood next to Pelton. "I wasn't sure what to expect."

It's not just her times that have been impressive at the IUPUI Natatorium, still one of the world's fastest pools.

Franklin has won four of the five events she competed in, even pulling off a grueling double Wednesday night when she captured national titles in the 200 freestyle and 200 backstroke in a span of about 90 minutes. Each of her four winning times ranks among the top five fastest in the world this year. Her winning time Friday was No. 2.

In fact, the 18-year-old soon-to-be University of California student form Centennial, Colo., performed so well that she and her coach, Todd Schmitz, decided to pull out of Saturday's 200 individual medley -- what was supposed to be Franklin's final event.

Of course, Franklin already has a full schedule for the world championships that begin July 28. She has qualified for six events, two of them relays, and the Americans chasing Franklin already know she'll be even tougher to catch in Barcelona.

"Usually, I gauge myself off this one," Pelton said, smiling as she acknowledged her sidekick. "If I'm close I know I'm doing well."

Franklin isn't the only teen making a splash at the nationals.

Katie Ledecky, the 16-year-old Olympic champion in the 800 free, is expanding her repertoire, too. After winning the 800 free on Tuesday and finishing second in the 200 free Wednesday, Ledecky returned to the pool Friday and delivered a personal best of 4 minutes, 4.05 seconds in winning the 400 free. Chloe Sutton, a 2012 Olympian, was second in 4:06.64 with Olympic 10K silver medalist Haley Anderson third in 4:09.60.

And with the 1,500 free still to go Saturday, Ledecky suddenly finds herself on the cusp of qualifying for one of the toughest feats in swimming -- competing in the four longest freestyle events. She said she'll be ready.

"I'll just get back in training, I guess hard training and then I'll taper again," Ledecky said without a hesitation. "I'll be getting ready for multiple events."

It's been quite a week for the Olympians.

Breeja Larson and Jessica Hardy, who each won gold on relay teams in London, went one-two in the 100 breaststroke, finishing in 1:06.16 and 1:06.49.

Connor Jaeger won the men's 400 free in 3:45.89. Matt McLean was second in 3:46.14.

The narrowest race of the night was the men's 100 backstroke, won by David Plummer in 53.10. He edged Matt Grevers (53.25) and Ryan Murphy (53.38).

And two-time NCAA champion Kevin Cordes had a near replay of his record-breaking chase from Wednesday night in the 200 breast. This time, in the 100 breast, the crowd roared as Cordes made the turn and drove for the wall. Like Wednesday, he faded in the final meters, settling instead for a personal best time of 59.99 seconds -- only the third sub-60 second time posted in the world this season. Nic Finks was second in 1:00.24.

"Breaking a minute for the first time is pretty awesome," Cordes said. "The first 50 felt really good. The last 50 were pretty bad. It was the same thing in the 200, so I guess I'll have to work on my endurance."

This week's most confounding story has been Allison Schmitt's struggle.

The woman who took three golds in London left Indy with no titles and failed to qualify for the world team. She missed the finals in the 100 and 200 free earlier this week, and on Friday, Schmitt, the American record-holder and reigning Olympic silver medalist in the 400 free, pulled out of the event.

Just two months ago, Schmitt led the University of Georgia to a national championship in the same pool where she competed this week. Coach Bob Bowman told reporters that the usually bubbly Schmitt plans to "regroup" and will figure out what to do after the national championships end Saturday night.

Schmitt wasn't the only big name to scratch Friday.

Ryan Lochte withdrew from the 100 backstroke after winning titles in the 200 free and 200 back on Wednesday and qualifying for the world team in four events -- the two he won, the 100 butterfly and the 400 free relay. Lochte will get one more shot Saturday in the 200 individual medley, an event in which he holds the world record.

Franklin, however, stole the show one more time before heading home.

"I think the whole field was right there at 50," Franklin said. "It was tough, it hurt a lot."

Read the full article in ESPN.

How Missy Franklin's parents raised a well-adjusted Olympic champ
7/1/2013

AS SHE WAITED to begin her heat in the 100-meter backstroke final at last summer's Olympic Games, Missy Franklin could feel her nerves taking over. She couldn't stop thinking that the rest of her life would revolve around what would happen in the next 59 seconds. But before the pressure crippled her, she reverted to a relaxation trick that has never failed.

"I thought about my parents," says Franklin, now 18. "I thought about how much they love me, how much I love them, and how, no matter what happens in the next minute, none of that will change. Then I took a deep breath. And the pressure was gone."

Thinking about Mom and Dad as a source of calm isn't exactly the norm for high school athletes. Any youth coach will tell you that overzealous parents are one of the biggest stumbling blocks to kids reaching their athletic potential. In fact, in dozens of interviews with youth athletes, parents and coaches for her upcoming book, Playing to Win: Raising Children in a Competitive Culture, sociologist Hilary Levey Friedman didn't once hear children mention using their parents to help them relax.

"They talk about their friends and their teammates and prayer or lucky charms," Friedman says. "But not their parents."

There is no blueprint for how to raise a four-time Olympic champion, much less one who earns nearly straight A's and spends her free time visiting children's hospitals. Yet it is tempting to study the Franklins for signs of a formula. Surely their example offers some best practices, or at least a short list of dos and don'ts. Or does it all boil down to a few favorable circumstances and a whole lot of luck?

Low-stress parenting and lots of luck were the keys to success for Franklin's parents.Tommy Collier/KUSALow-stress parenting and lots of luck were the keys to success for Franklin's parents.

IT'S A SUN-SPLASHED morning in May, and the Franklins are heading to Children's Hospital Colorado to visit kids fighting for their lives. Missy and her dad are in typical form, teasing each other along the drive. Dick Franklin has spent most of his life as a successful corporate executive, including stints at Reebok and Head, where he saw firsthand how parental pressure can smother promising youth talent. Today he's teasing Missy about how great his life was before she arrived. The multiple houses, the Porsche, the vacations to Tahiti, Hawaii and Key West.

"And then this happened," Dick says, motioning to the Olympic champion in the backseat.

This was a child Dick and his wife, DA, never thought would be possible. Eighteen years ago, the Franklins were both busy, career-driven 40-something professionals who had accepted the fact that parenthood wouldn't be part of their story. But on May 10, 1995, Melissa Jeanette Franklin was born. And Dick and DA made a pledge: They'd always do what was best for their little girl. DA, once a family doctor, cut back on her medical consulting gig. Dick limited his hours and travel too.

They set out to create a bond that was absent from both of their childhoods in Canada. DA's father battled alcoholism after returning home from World War II, and her mom died in a plane crash when DA was 13. Dick, the oldest of four, moved often as his dad jumped from job to job. A prep football star in high school, he lamented having to prove himself every season at a new school.

"I can't really name one time when my father told me, 'I love you,'" Dick says. "I told myself that's not going to happen when I have a child."

For all the love and affection Dick and DA have showered on Missy, their sentimental daughter has cooed right back. It's Missy who asks to cuddle with her dad after training. Missy who grabs her father's pinkie when they walk together at the mall. Two years ago, on New Year's Eve, she was home by 10:30 -- at her request -- so she could celebrate with Mom and Dad. What might seem suffocating or overbearing to some is normal for the Franklins.

"We're making it cool to love your parents again," Missy says.

To this day, Dick and DA have never taken a vacation without their daughter. DA still washes Missy's clothes and folds them neatly on her bed. She packs Missy's swim bag before each practice. Mom and Dad post their daughter's schedule online for drug testers and help with the boxes of fan mail.

Of course, this kind of support doesn't come free. Dick's success as an executive and DA's work as a doctor gave the Franklins a luxury many families with gold medal dreams don't have: Instead of worrying about the bills, the Franklins focused exclusively on what they thought was best for Missy. They never let their daughter get a job, instead urging her to concentrate on swimming and having fun with her friends.

By many standards, Missy is spoiled. Her parents have built their lives around her needs and her schedule. And that approach would have backfired with most kids. But somehow, Missy hasn't devolved into a self-centered egomaniac. Instead, she's the exact opposite.

"It's hard to understand," says Jack Roach, the head coach for the U.S. junior national team. "You would think you'd be meeting this girl who thinks the world revolves around her. And now you have to think twice because if that's what they did, boy did it work."

IT SHOULE BE reassuring for any parent to know that even experts make mistakes. For the better part of the past decade, Larry Lauer, formerly of the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports at Michigan State, has studied the forces that tug on youth athletes. And yet there he was with his daughter recently, rewarding her with ice cream after tennis practice, listening as she said, "I got this because I played well, right?"

"I was like, 'No, no, no. You got this because you tried hard,'" Lauer said. "I had done everything to avoid this contingency to reward her for playing well, and she had made that connection all on her own."

More often than not, parents are making mistakes without even realizing it. In Lauer's 2005 study of elite youth tennis players, he found that roughly 30% of parents were unintentionally acting in a way that troubled their children. It could be as simple as the way a father holds his face in his hands after his son strikes out, or as complex as an up-and-coming tennis star, seeing the money his parents are shelling out for coaching and travel, feeling pressure to deliver on the investment. And everyone knows the parent who lives vicariously through his or her children, using their on-field success as a reflection of self-worth.

Whether influenced by Dick's corporate experiences seeing young athletes crash and burn or being older parents or something else altogether, the Franklins always tried not to get caught up in the race to athletic insanity. Dick and DA knew their primary job was to keep out of their daughter's way.

"We really never put any pressure on her," Dick says. "Win, lose or draw, it was, 'Great race, sweetheart. Now let's go have dinner.'"

Missy took notice. "Swimming is tough enough. The last thing you need is your parents asking you what went wrong," she says. "You need a hug. And my mom and dad have always been there with that hug."

They also put an immense amount of trust in Todd Schmitz, Missy's coach since she was 7. Todd was just 23 when Missy started swimming for his Colorado Stars swim club, and she was immediately drawn to the silly tricks he used to keep things light, like handstands in the water. Not once did the Franklins think they could find someone better, even when other parents asked whether they planned to move to a swimming-rich state like California or Texas.

"We were just like, 'Huh?'" DA says. "We weren't going to move anywhere."

Yet despite their parents' best efforts, young athletes are never immune to the pressure of big-time competition. In 2009, when Missy was 14, some thought she was ready to compete at the U.S. trials in hopes of earning a spot at the world championship in Rome. Not Schmitz. Four weeks before the meet, he pulled Missy aside and told her just that. "And she looked at me like someone who had just had a 100-pound weight lifted off her shoulders," Schmitz says. "She was like, 'Oh, thank you.'"

Several weeks later, at junior nationals, Missy's time in the 100 free was fast enough that it would have put her on the world championship team. But there were no regrets. "Trying to qualify for worlds at 14 could have ruined her," Roach says. "And it's a tribute to Todd, Dick and DA that they didn't try to hurry up the process."

Even after Missy won three golds, a silver and a bronze at the 2011 world championship in Shanghai, even after NBC made her one of the faces of its London marketing campaign, the Franklins would still say "If she makes the team" every time they talked about London. When people began asking how the Franklins planned to handle Missy's 200 freestyle and 100 backstroke double, they shrugged.

"I can't tell you how many people came up to us and were like, 'What are you telling Todd? What do you want him to do?'" DA says. "But it wasn't our decision. Todd and Missy decide what to do."

Says Dick: "It wouldn't have even dawned on me to say something. It's not our place to get involved."

WHAT HAS WORKED so well for the Franklins so far, of course, is not necessarily what will work well for them moving forward. In a few months, the Franklins will be forced to let her go. Missy will be off to UC Berkeley. There she'll have to learn to do her own laundry. Make her own bed. Cook her own food. It's an adjustment every freshman goes through -- 
perhaps Missy more than most.

Some see a reality check on the horizon for Missy, including her new coach, Teri McKeever. "It's very unusual for someone that age to be that comfortable in her own skin," McKeever says. "And yet I still believe no one can be that happy. And that probably will crack at some point. And I want to be there for that."

Whether or not that day comes, McKeever's presence will be critical. For more than a decade, Dick and DA have trusted Schmitz to take care of the swimming. Now they will look to McKeever to do that while also filling the void their absence will leave.

It didn't have to be this way. After she returned home from London, Missy was offered millions in incentives from corporate America to spurn college and turn pro. She could have kept swimming for Schmitz and stayed closer to Mom and Dad. But Missy wanted an experience that money couldn't buy. She wanted to swim in college. And Dick and DA, who plan to attend many of Missy's Cal meets, weren't going to stand in her way. So after the world championship in Barcelona ("if she makes the team," DA says) and a family vacation to Canada, the Franklins will load up the SUV and make the trip to the first step in the rest of Missy's life. Just don't ask whether they're prepared to say goodbye.

"We don't talk about that," Missy says. "It's going to be awful."

Read the full article in ESPN.

Swimming: Missy Franklin takes national title with fast finish in Indianapolis
6/26/2013

INDIANAPOLIS | Missy Franklin is fine tuning that victory smile for her next summer international tour.

America’s biggest female swimming star in London made her grand reappearance on the national stage Tuesday night, winning the U.S. national championship in the 100-meter freestyle with the second-fastest time in the world this year and assuring herself of a spot on the U.S. world championship team.

The 18-year-old phenom who is headed to the University of California this fall, celebrated in typical fashion — with that wide-eyed, toothy-grin and plenty of hugs.

“I took five weeks off after London, then I went back to full training,” the Colorado Stars swimmer and graduate of Aurora’s Regis Jesuit High School said after setting a meet record in 53.43 seconds. “But I am tapered for this meet.”

And ready to keep cutting time when she heads to Barcelona for the world championships next month. The winner of each event and the top four finishers in each of the 100 free events get automatic berths on the world team.

If there were any doubts that Franklin could repeat last summer’s incredible success, there aren’t now.

She charged past the top three swimmers — Olympic gold medalist Natalie Coughlin and NCAA national champions Megan Romano of Georgia and Margo Geer of Arizona — during the second half of the race and held off another Olympic gold medalist (Shannon Vreeland) and the hard-charging youngster Simone Manuel as she sprinted to the wall over the final 25 meters.

Vreeland, Romano’s college teammate, finished second in 53.83 while the 16-year-old Manuel of Texas was third in 53.86. Manuel broke the national age group record that she already held. Coughlin wound up fifth in 54.04.

Franklin beat three Olympic gold medalists in a star-studded final, winning a race she didn’t even compete in at London. Two other Olympic gold medalists, Allison Schmitt and Dana Vollmer, didn’t even make the final. Schmitt, who helped Georgia win the NCAA title at the IUPUI Natatorium two months ago, finished second in the consolation heat. Vollmer withdrew from the consolation heat to get a little more rest for a meet that runs through Saturday night.

Also missing from the 100 free finals was Amanda Weir, the American record-holder in the event, who finished eighth in the B Final and 16th overall in the first America team qualifier since last summer’s Olympic Trials.

But Franklin, who has five more events this week, wasn’t going to let anyone or anything get in her way Tuesday night.

“It’s my favorite part of the race,” Franklin said, referring to those last two dozen meters. “I just love doing everything possible so I can get my hand on the wall.”

The night was dominated by Olympians.

Seven of the eight men’s finalists in the 100 free came to Indy with Olympic golds in their trophy cases, including six who were on the Americans’ winning 400 free relay in 2012. Together, they had combined for more than two dozen Olympic medals. The only non-Olympian to make the finals, 16-year-old Caleb Dressel from Florida who broke the national age group record in prelims and then did it again in the finals (49.50).

But the fans and the swimmers gathered en masse when Franklin and Ryan Lochte took their spots on the starting block.

Franklin delivered with a spectacular win.

Lochte, meanwhile, settled for fourth, behind Nathan Adrian, the defending Olympic champ in the men’s 100 free (48.10), Jimmy Feigen (48.24) and Anthony Ervin (48.49).

“I wasn’t trying to make a statement, I was trying to get myself on the (world) team,” Adrian said. “There’s no point in making a statement. Under 48 (seconds) would have been nice, but it wasn’t there tonight, so I’ll go back, regroup and get ready for the rest of the week.”

Lochte’s time of 48.58 was enough to qualify for the Americans’ 400 free relay team, and it was good enough for Lochte in an event that has been far from his best.

“My meet doesn’t really start till tomorrow,” Lochte said. “This was just a fun race for me to do.”

Two more Olympians battled head-to-head in the women’s 200 butterfly. Texas’ Cammile Adams took the lead from Caitlin Leverenz on the second 50 and held on to win her second straight national title in the event in in 2 minutes, 8.10 seconds. Maya Dirado of Stanford was second in 2:09.12 with Katie McLaughlin third in 2:10.41. Fifteen-year-old Becca Mann was fourth and Leverenz wound up fifth in 2:11.16 in the same pool where her Cal Bears were deprived of a third straight national title.

And for the first time since 1999, Michael Phelps did not compete in the men’s 200 fly. That left the field wide open for Tom Luchsinger, who defeated Olympic backstroke gold medalist Tyler Clary. Luchsinger finished in 1:55.57, with Clary second in 1:56.58 and Tom Shields third in 1:57.39.

Olympic 800 champion Katie Ledecky easily won her signature event in 8:22.41 though she was nearly eight seconds off the American record time she set in August. Chloe Sutton was second in 8:23.24. Connor Jaeger took the men’s 1,500 free in 14:53.34 with Michael McBroom second in 14:59.12.

But this was a night that belonged to the big-named stars and the youngsters who look up to them.

“She (Franklin) really is who I model myself after,” Manuel said. “We’ve kind of grown a friendship, she tells me good luck before all of my races. I feel like I learned a lot tonight.”

Read the full article in the Aurora Sentinel.

Franklin wins 100 freestyle in meet record time of 53.43
6/26/2013

Missy Franklin won the women’s 100 freestyle out of lane two posting a new meet record  time of 53.43, which breaks the previous mark of 53.58 set by Amanda Weir in 2006. Her time is also the second fastest in the world this year with only Cate Campbell having swum faster having recorded a time of 52.83.

Natalie Coughlin took control of the first 50 turning in a time of 25.70 followed closely by Megan Romano who turned in a time of 25.78. Franklin had an incredible last 50 meters overtaking half of the field with a split of 27.35, finishing four tenths of a second ahead of Shannon Vreeland who finished second in a time of 53.83.

Both Franklin and Vreeland used their closing speed to finish in the top two spots:

Franklin – 26.08/53.43 (27.35)

Vreeland – 26.37/53.83 (27.46)

Simone Manuel finished third in a time of 53.86 followed by Megan Romano who finished third recording a time of 53.90. All four women qualify for the World Championship team in the 4 x 100 freestyle relay while Franklin and Vreeland will swim the individual event in Barcelona.

An exciting 100 freestyle final was won by Olympic champion Nathan Adrian in a time of 48.10, a season’s best time by seven one-hundredths of a second. The time ranks third in the world behind James Magnussen (47.53) and Vlad Morozov (47.93).
Nathan Adrian 100 freestyle champion 2013 World Championship Trials.

Nathan Adrian 100 freestyle champion 2013 World Championship Trials.

It was no surprise that Anthony Ervin led the way in the first 50 turning in a time of 22.38, he was followed by Adrian who split a 22.73.

Jimmy Feigen had the fastest final 50 in the field, splitting a 25.12 which propelled him to a second place finish out of lane two, posting a time of 48.24. Ervin fell back to third finishing in a time of 48.49 followed by Ryan Lochte who finished fourth in a time of 48.58.

Caeleb Dressel who had a phenomenal morning swim of 49.63 breaking Joe Hudepohl’s 15-16 NAG record of 50.24 which was set in 1990, outdid himself this evening breaking his own record by posting a time of 49.50 to finish eighth in the 100 freestyle.

It is incredible to think that before today his best time was a 50.85.

Dressel’s splits – 23.74/49.50 (25.76).

Cammile Adams won the 200 butterfly in a time of 2:08.10, which is currently the seventh fastest time in the world this year. Adams has a best time of 2:06.53, which she recorded winning the US Olympic Trials last year.

Adams splits – 29.06/1:01.49 (32.43)/1:34.77 (33.28)/2:08.10 (33.33)
Cammile Adams winner of the 200 butterfly (Photo Credit: Tim Binning, the swim pictures)

Cammile Adams winner of the 200 butterfly (Photo Credit: Tim Binning, the swim pictures)

Adams turned at the 100 first in a time of 1:01.49, just ahead of Caitlin Leverenz, it was at that point that Adams began to pull away from the field. Maya Dirado stayed in close contact with Adams heading into the final 50 meters of the race, but did not have enough to catch Adams the eventual winner.

Dirado finished in second and qualified for the World Championship team posting a time of 2:09.12 just under the FINA standard of 2:09.38 followed by Katie McLaughlin who finished third in a time of 2:10.41.

Rebecca Mann finished fourth in a time of 2:10.46, Caitlin Leverenz was fifth in a time of 2:11.16, Jasmine Tosky was sixth in a time of 2:11.29, Megan Kingsley finished seventh in a time of 2:11.45 and Courtney Weaver finished eighth in a time of 2:11.45.

Cassidy Bayer was impressive winning the C-Final, reserved specifically for 18 & unders, in 2:11.44, despite being only 13 years old. That makes her 5th all-time in the age group, though she’s still four seconds away from the age group record held by the unparalleled Mary Meagher.

Tom Luchsinger won the men’s 200 butterfly in a time of 1:55.57, which currently ranks fifth in the world this year and even more impressive a best time by almost two seconds. Tom Shields led after the first 50 swimming a quick 25.49, Luchsinger then overtook Shields turning at the 100 in a time of 54.88 and continued to pull away from the field in the third 50. Bobby Bollier made a strong push in the first 25 meters of the final 50, but eventually fell back to fourth place, while Olympian Tyler Clary had a great finish to touch second in a time of 1:56.58.
200 butterfly winner Tom Luchsinger of UNC (Photo Credit: Tim Binning, the swim pictures)

200 butterfly winner Tom Luchsinger of UNC (Photo Credit: Tim Binning, the swim pictures)

Both Luchsinger and Clary will be on the World Championship team as they were under the FINA A standard of 1:57.03.

Tom Shields finished third in a time of 1:57.39.

Bobby Bollier finished fourth in a time of 1:57.40, 16 year old Andrew Seliskar finished fifth in a time of 1:57.48, Dan Madwed was sixth in a time of 1:57.68, Kyle Whitaker was second in a time of 1:58.52 and Chase Kalisz was eighth in a time of 1:58.60.

Katie Ledecky led the women’s 800 freestyle from start to finish. Ledecky was under world record time until the 300 meter mark. Chloe Sutton stayed within striking distance of Ledecky for the entire race getting within six tenths of a second at the 650 meter mark, but each time Sutton made a push Ledecky had an answer and went on to win the event in a time of 8:22.41. Her season’s best of 8:20.64 is the fastest time done in the world this year.

Sutton finished second in a time of 8:23.24, which puts her third in the world behind Ledecky and New Zealand’s Lauren Boyle. She was followed by Gillian Ryan who finished third in a time of 8:29.80.

The men’s 1500 freestyle was a tale of two halves. The first 750 meters was a great head to head battle between Connor Jaeger and Michael McBroom, with only 73 one-hundreths of a second separating the two swimmers at the half way point.

It was a very different story in the second half where Jaeger pulled away from McBroom and developed a lead of almost four seconds by the 1000 meter mark.

Jaeger continued to extend that lead eventually winning the event in a time of 14:53.34, which currently ranks third in the world. McBroom finished second in a time of 14:59.12, which is his first time under the 15 minute barrier. Sean Ryan finished third in a time of 15:04.60.

Read the full article in SwimSwam.

Four-time Olympic gold medalist Franklin ready to make waves this week at U.S. nationals
6/24/2013

Swimming's new international darling has completed her victory lap, a gold-plated circuit leading to a documentary with dolphins and countless weekend award banquets featuring more food than sleep.

But in the what-have-you-done-for-me-lately world of sport, "lately" comes this week. Missy Franklin of Centennial leaves Sunday for the U.S. nationals and world championships trials in Indianapolis.

As if winning four Olympic gold medals and a bronze in London and garnering FINA's world female swimmer of the year for 2012 weren't enough, Franklin, 18, must prove herself all over again. How fast can one swim coming off the rubber chicken circuit?

"A lot of people come up to me and say, 'Todd, the year after the Olympics is the hardest year to maintain focus,' " said Todd Schmitz, Missy's coach with the Colorado Stars. "Missy had a lot of distractions with her schedule and doing things every Olympian should be able to enjoy. At the end of the day, not many can say they're an Olympian.

"A lot comes with that."

The biggest thing is appearances. In Franklin's case, she went everywhere from Hollywood (Golden Globe Awards) to the Bahamas (documentary "The Current").

It isn't easy focusing on a two-hour training swim at dawn when you're diving with dolphins off a sun-splashed island.

"Honestly, it wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be," Franklin said. "I was actually very nervous coming back from London because I was worried. I knew I had world championships this summer and I heard it was super hard to focus when you come back.

"But as soon as I got back in the water after my break from London, it was so easy. It just came naturally."

What sometimes wasn't easy was finding a pool in which to train. Sure, Franklin can find pools everywhere, but she can't swim 4,000 meters with kids wearing water wings jumping on her back. Her mother, D.A., managed to find pool managers who gave her the best times, usually at dawn, before her day-long activities began.

Then again, some days it was easier to roll out of bed than other days. For instance, take Bimini Bay, the resort on Bimini, Bahamas.

"It was so much fun," Franklin said. "It was an infinity pool over the ocean. It was absolutely incredible. Just stunning, just gorgeous. But it was 33 meters long. One hundred meters was three laps. And there was no heater. It was totally freezing, but it was so much fun."

She will find out at nationals, Tuesday through Saturday, if the workouts worked. She's ranked first in the U.S. in her two Olympic gold-medal events — the 100 and 200 backstroke — and second in her other two Olympic individual events, the 100 and 200 freestyle.

She finally lost in the backstroke, her speciality. Elizabeth Pelton, her teammate next season at California, defeated her in the 100 at the Santa Clara Grand Prix on June 2. Then again, Franklin is peaking toward worlds in Barcelona, Spain, from July 28-Aug. 4, when she will try to defend her 2011 worlds gold medal in the 200 backstroke.

The 50 freestyle is a longshot. But for a change of pace, she may add the 200 individual medley. She practices all four strokes daily anyway and it comes on the last day of the trials, when she has no other race.

"Missy's still growing," Schmitz said. "She's still getting stronger. We did different events at the Grand Prix meets: 'Wow! We haven't seen Missy swim the 400 free in a while.' We still entered it. At the end of the day, we'd rather pick the events than the events pick us."

She has concentrated on improving her freestyle, where she missed an Olympic bronze medal in the 200 by 0.01 seconds. Her times in the 500-yard freestyle (4:34.62) and 200-yard freestyle (1:41.81, fourth-fastest in U.S. history) in the sectional meet in March in Federal Way, Wash., would have won the NCAA meet a week later.

"We look at that," Schmitz said. "That's awesome."

The top two in each event advance to Barcelona.

John Henderson: 303-954-1299, jhenderson@denverpost.com or twitter.com/johnhendersondp

Missy's U.S. rankings

A look at how Missy Franklin ranks among U.S. swimmers.

100 BACKSTROKE

1. Missy Franklin 59.34

2. Elizabeth Pelton 59.88

3. Rachel Bootsma 1:00.54.3

4. Megan Romano 1:00.83

5. Kathleen Baker 1:00.98

200 BACKSTROKE

1. Missy Franklin 2:07.17

2. Kaitlin Harty 2:10.38

3. Kendyl Stewart 2:10.72

4. Megan Romano 2:11.37

5. Kylie Stewart 2:11.48

100 FREESTYLE

1. Megan Romano 54.16

2. Missy Franklin 54.27

3. Natalie Coughlin 54.33

4. Jessica Hardy 55.28

5. Dana Vollmer 55.37

200 FREESTYLE

1. Katie Ledecky 1:56.93

2. Missy Franklin 1:56.96

3. Allison Schmitt 1:58.29

4. Quinn Carozza 1:58.36

5. Elizabeth Pelton 1:58.52.

Read the full article in The Denver Post.

2013 US Worlds Trials Preview: A Dozen Names for Half a Dozen Spots in the Women’s 100 Free
6/24/2013

The 100m freestyle is the second individual women’s event in Indy. Powerhouse names like Franklin, Vollmer, Schmitt, Hardy and Coughlin, hungry up and comers Romano and Weir, will others like American record holder Weir look to get back to “super-suit” era speed, will mix it up in Indy to decide who takes the six coveted tickets to Barcelona.

Will Missy Franklin build on blistering 50m times this year to improve on her somewhat disappointing London individual event result? Will ageless veteran Coughlin add to her dump truck full of international medals with a relay spot? Can Romero improve further on her win in Santa Clara to get an individual spot on the Worlds team?

The Favorite

No big surprise here. Colorado Stars’ Missy Franklin comes in as the top seed at 53.52, which was swum as the lead off for the 4x100m in London, where she placed 5th in the individual event. Her 50m has improved markedly this year, dropping nearly half a second from the time she posted in London, which should make for some scary front end speed once she is full rested and tapered.

The Challengers

Megan Romano, of the Athens Bulldogs, is looking to ride the momentum of a strong NCAA season and a win in Santa Clara. Getting time in with some guy named Bob Bowman and NBAC in preparation for Trials can only help her. She upset the field in Santa Clara, beating both Franklin and Coughlin in a time of 54.16. She had a good year with Georgia this year, helping them win the NCAA title, including a NCAA record in the 4×100 free relay.

Trojan Jessica Hardy posted a 53.86 in London, making her the second fastest American in the event in the past two years. At Santa Clara she admitted that she is more focused on breaststroke events this year, particularly the 50, in which she holds the world record.

NBAC’s Allison Schmitt is more known for her 200 and 400 free, but in London she cranked out a 53.5 as the anchor of the 4×100 free relay. Schmitt will be looking to set the tone for the rest of her events with the 100, and also to get one of the coveted top-6 relay spots.

Cal’s 30 year old Coughlin will be trying to make the team on the relay as well. She swam a very solid 54.33 in Santa Clara. With a focus on the sprint events, and a curious eye towards Rio, Coughlin will be looking to add to her extensive collection of international medals with a relay spot. The time she put up in Santa Clara was the fastest she has been in 5 years. Cal teammate Dana Vollmer hasn’t been able to get back into the 53’s since 2009-2010. She’s changed up her training this season, backing off and going to singles for the first time in her career. It will be interesting to see how this affects her racing once she is rested and tapered.

Amanda Weir of SwimAtlanta is the owner of the American Record of 53.02, but hasn’t been under 54 seconds since then. The fastest 100 she put up this year was a couple mid-56’s in Charlotte and Austin. Stanford prospect 18-year-old Lia Neal, of Ashpalt Green Unified Aquatics, will also try to add to her Olympic experience in 2013 with another relay spot. Her best time of 54.15 puts her right in the hunt.

The opportunity for a big breakthrough comes via 16-year-old Simone Manuel of First Colony. She will be looking to improve on the 54.60 she swum at Pan Pac Jrs last summer, which was almost a full second faster than what she swam at Olympic Trials earlier in the summer.

The Picks
      Olivier’s Picks     Braden’s Picks     Kelsey’s Picks
1.     Missy Franklin, Colorado Stars, 53.52     Missy Franklin, Colorado Stars, 53.52     Jessica Hardy, USC, 53.86
2.     Megan Romano, Georgia/NBAC, 53.92     Allison Schmitt, Georgia/NBAC, 53.94     Missy Franklin, Colorado Stars, 53.52
3.     Jessica Hardy, USC, 53.86     Jessica Hardy, USC, 53.86     Allison Schmitt, Georgia/NBAC, 53.94
4.     Allison Schmitt, Georgia/NBAC, 53.94     Megan Romano, Georgia/NBAC, 53.92     Megan Romano, Georgia/NBAC, 53.92
5.     Dana Vollmer, Cal, 53.94     Lia Neal, Asphalt Green, 54.15     Lia Neal, Asphalt Green, 54.15
6.     Natalie Coughlin, Cal, 53.67     Natalie Coughlin, Cal, 53.67     Dana Vollmer, Cal, 53.94
7.     Amanda Weir, SwimAtlanta, 54.14     Simone Manuel, First Colony, 54.60     Amanda Weir, SwimAtlanta, 54.14
8.     Lia Neal, Asphalt Green, 54.15     Dana Vollmer, Cal, 53.94     Madison Kennedy, SwimMAC, 54.45
      Darkhorse     Darkhorse     Darkhorse
      Sarh Denninghoff, Texas, 55.63     Natalie Hinds, Florida, 55.50     Margo Geer, Arizona, 54.62
Read the full article in SwimSwam.

Missy Franklin remains same genuine, bubbly self despite huge success in London
6/24/2013

DENVER – It's 6:20 a.m., and Missy Franklin is immersed in damage control. She is licking the side of a leaking chocolate milk box.

The five-time Olympic medalist has just finished her morning workout in a dingy concrete slab of an outdoor pool. It comes with a single creature comfort: a radio playing classic rock. While Eddie Money was warbling "Two Tickets to Paradise" into the chilly pre-dawn air, Missy and her Colorado Stars teammates were churning through the Lowry Pool water.

Now, dressed in Early Morning Swimmer Comfortwear – black Uggs, pink sweatpants, blue sweatshirt, hair in characteristic bun – it was time for a quick nutrition blast of organic chocolate milk. But there is risk involved.

If you squeeze the box at all, the milk shoots up through the straw. The 18-year-old gave it a slight crunch, and now in mid-interview she is trying to clean up the resulting eruption without the assistance of a napkin or paper towel.

"They're so touchy," Missy says. "I'm sorry, what was your question?"

And with that comes the signature laugh America fell in love with last summer from London.

If you want a status report on Missy Franklin one year after she became a bubbly, breakout superstar and as she heads into the World Championship Trials this week in Indianapolis, this June morning sums it up succinctly.

The genuine Olympian is still laughing out loud, and often. Still swimming fast. Still having a blast. Still as wholesome and uncomplicated as a box of chocolate milk.

Oh, life has gotten complicated around her. There has been some spilled milk to deal with. You win four gold medals and the world you grew up in is altered. Missy Franklin hugs a competitor after winning the Colorado 5A girls 200-yard IM. (USA Today)

A Christmas shopping trip to the mall ended after 90 frenzied minutes with dozens of autographs given, dozens of pictures taken and zero presents bought. A trip through the Starbucks drive-thru becomes a photo op for star-struck baristas.

"This is who I am now," Missy says, acknowledging the fame and scrutiny thrust upon her. "That was a little hard getting used to, but it's so worth it."

You win four gold medals and then try to do what almost every American kid your age is doing: pick a college to attend. Suddenly, total strangers want to tell you what a mistake you're making by not turning pro and reaping millions in endorsements. Suddenly, everyone is an expert on your life choices and wants to critique your plan – two years of swimming at California, then turning pro in 2015 in anticipation of the Olympics the following year in Rio de Janeiro.

"She told us, 'It's too soon to make swimming my job,' " says Missy's dad, Dick. "That phrase pretty well did it for her mom (D.A.) and I. Nobody likes to give up $4 [million] to $8 million, but we thought it's the right thing for Missy."

You win four gold medals and then try returning to your Regis Jesuit High School swim team. Suddenly, people from other schools are getting cranky, saying an Olympian has no place in high school sports. Suddenly, the competition is too much for some swimmers and tickets to the state meet are too scarce for some parents.

"It killed me," Missy says. "I loved swimming high school. I'm a total people pleaser, even people I don't know. I love to make people happy, and when something like that happens, I don't know what to do. … But looking back on it, I'm so happy I did it."

Despite the tumult of fairly sudden fame, the girl at the center of the swirl is fundamentally the same person. Appearances on late-night talk shows, modeling shoots and guest-of-honor appearances at sporting events have not altered Missy Franklin's demeanor, disposition or DNA.

"Most famous people – politicians, actors, athletes – it's an act," said Missy's Colorado Stars coach, Todd Schmitz. "They act one way in public and a different way in private.

"There's no act with Missy. You're never going to catch her out of the act, because it's not an act."

The first act of the Genuine Olympian's new life was a return to the old life. A painting party.

After London, the Franklins had flown home to Colorado late on a Monday. On Tuesday, they flew to Los Angeles so Missy could appear on "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno. On Wednesday, they flew home, exhausted.

That's when Missy asked her parents if she could have a dozen friends over to paint overalls. Regis High School was playing a season-opening football game, and the kids wanted to custom-paint some white overalls for it.

Michael Phelps returned from his grand Beijing triumph to a publicized bong hit. Missy Franklin returned from London to paint overalls. Pass the chocolate milk.

The fatigued Franklins recoiled from their initial dread, recognized the importance of the request and said yes. Yes to the chaos and the paint splatters on the furniture and all over the backyard. Yes to the ongoing breathless sprint.

The sooner the re-entry into the life Missy had always known and thrived in, the better.

Missy Franklin smiles on the sidelines during the 2013 Fiesta Bowl. (USA Today)"We've tried everything we could to keep her a normal kid," D.A. says.

Missy arrived on the international stage at a young age, but it was an entirely organic development. There has been no gaming the system by the Franklins. No altering the natural timetable. No maneuvering or manipulating to get ahead. No shuffling through coaches and teams in search of the magic combination for maximum achievement.

Missy started with the Heritage Green Gators, the neighborhood pool across the street from her house. She'd been seduced by the big tent and the noise and the excitement of the meets, and marched over one day to ask if she could join the team. The coaches told her to come back next year, when she was 5.

"She was a Gator before she was anything," Dick Franklin says.

She was still a Gator during the 2008 Olympic Trials, which phenom Missy qualified for at age 13. She made Schmitz a nervous wreck by competing in the small-time summer club championships just weeks before the biggest swim meet in the United States. She just loved being part of the team.

Schmitz has been her primary coach since she began year-round swimming at seven, and the Stars have been her primary team. As she became a dominant age-group swimmer, others in the sport urged the Franklins to consider moving to a swimming hotbed like California or Texas. The family resisted the urge to search for something better.

The reasoning was as simple as it gets. If you can shatter records within the context of a happy and comfortable life, why change it?

"It's working," Missy says. "I love my team, love my coach, love Colorado. I love where I am. The grass is so green right in front of us, why look for it greener somewhere else?"

The anti-Missy announced himself to the world earlier this month. Fourteen-year-old Michael Andrew became the youngest American swimmer to turn professional.

Andrew may have a phenomenal future as a swimmer. He is big (a reported 6-foot-4) and has set a slew of national age-group records – as Missy once did. But he's never been a top-eight finisher at a national meet, which means there is much yet to prove.

"What is his name? Michael?" Missy asks, unwittingly indicating what little impact he has made to date on the national stage.

His formative experience could not be any more different than Missy's. Whereas she thrives on team and school, Andrew is home-schooled by his mom and individually coached by his dad. Whereas she has been slow to go pro, Andrew has broken new ground. Missy Franklin cheers on her high school teammates as they finish their event. (USA Today)

His first sponsor is a supplement company. Given the rocky history of supplements and drug testing in Olympic sports, that caused some in the swimming community to cringe.

So the Michael Andrew experiment carries with it a few warning signs. Just don't ask the eternally diplomatic Missy to enunciate them.

"The one thing I've learned, you can't make everyone happy," she says. "It's all different for everyone. You need to do what's best for you, and if that's what's best for him, I wish him the best of luck with that."

What's best for the Genuine Olympian on this June morning is a trip with some of her Colorado Stars teammates to the Village Inn. They have free pie on Wednesdays.

During practice, Missy has her own lane while about 30 teammates utilize the other five lanes. Schmitz pays 90 percent of his attention to her, letting assistant coach Erik Eikenbary handle the rest of the Stars.

Missy does a separate workout because she is tapering for the World Trials, which start Tuesday in Indy. She is seeded first in the 100- and 200-meter backstrokes and the 100 freestyle, and second in the 200 free.

Tapering swimmers can be borderline giddy. After months of beating their bodies with hard workout sets, coaches back off to bring a rested athlete into a big meet. This is Missy's longest period of rest since last summer.

Eikenbary listens to her laughter and says, "They should make a Geico commercial: happier than a swimmer during taper."

"I LOVE that," Missy says, before splashing down the lane at a relaxed pace.

Late in practice, the Lowry Pool radio is playing "Rapture" by Blondie. Missy is out of the water, preparing to work on her starts, when she breaks into an enthusiastic dance. This is the 6-1 Amazon girl who amazed and amused her Olympic teammates with her moves, leaving Schmitz in stitches.

"I don't know whether I'm a good dancer," she says, "but I love to dance."

There is the laugh again. Although so much has changed around her, nothing has changed on the inside of Missy Franklin.

Read the full article in Yahoo! Sports.

Nationals Psych Sheets Released: Ryan Lochte, Missy Franklin Enter IM Events
6/24/2013

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, June 19. USA Swimming has just released psych sheets for the 2013 Phillips 66 National Championships & World Championship Trials.

Big news: Ryan Lochte is entered in the 400 IM. There was much speculation going into the meet on whether or not Lochte would enter in the notoriously grueling event. The guessing game was fueled even further when Lochte won the 400 IM at the Arena Grand Prix Santa Clara. However, just because Lochte entered in the 400 IM does not guarantee that he will race it, as he's been known to enter numerous events and then scratch a few at the last minute. Lochte is also entered in the 200 freestyle, as well as the 200 backstroke behind Tyler Clary (Matt Grevers has chosen to not swim the 200 back this season), 50 and 100 butterfly and 200 IM.

Missy Franklin is entered in six events. She's seeded first the 100 freestyle, second in the 200 freestyle behind Allison Schmitt, top in the trifecta of backstroke races (50, 100, 200) and the 200 IM. The only real surprise from Franklin in this event list is the 200 IM. We saw her race the event at the Arena Grand Prix Santa Clara, finishing second behind Caitlin Leverenz (who is seeded first in the event at a 2:08.95). This sparked rumors that Franklin might race the event at Nationals, despite it not being one of her top events. Franklin is seeded sixth in the event.

It's been a great year for distance swimming, and Nationals will hold true to that standard. If there is one event that we can cross our fingers on seeing a world record fall, it will be the women's 800 freestyle. Katie Ledecky came within tenths of Rebecca Adlington's 8:14.10 world record at the 2008 Olympics with an 8:14.63. Although she hasn't been near that time since, she posted the fastest time in the world this year at the Arena Grand Prix Mesa in April, and with a little bit of taper, swimming fans can expect something big out of the high school swimmer. On the men's side, the mile has a renewed level of excitement stemming from the rivalry between Andrew Gemmell and Connor Jaeger, who will push each other the whole race.

A handful of competitors have already qualified for the World University Games but may use this meet as an opportunity to get bumped up to the World Championship team. Kevin Cordes and Mike Alexandrov are both gunning for the team in the 100 and 200 breaststrokes, Chelsea Chenault in the 200 freestyle, Laura Sogar in the 200 breaststroke and Michael McBroom in the 1500 freestyle.

Read the full article in Swimming World Magazine.

Missy Franklin may swim 200 IM in World Championship Trials
6/18/2013

The 200 individual medley could very well be in Missy Franklin's future.

The IM, which even made Michael Phelps scream "Uncle!" during his career, is part of Franklin's repertoire as she heads to next week's National Championships and World Championship Trials in Indianapolis.

She doesn't yet know if she'll swim it. She's confirmed in her four specialties — the 100 and 200 backstroke, where she's ranked first nationally in both, and 100 and 200 freestyle, where she's ranked second — and she'll likely swim three relays at next month's World Championships in Barcelona.

But the IM is out there for Centennial's golden girl who is broadening her horizons in the wake of winning four gold medals and a bronze at the London Olympics.

It's a calculated risk. She doesn't swim the butterfly or breaststroke in competition, and combining the four strokes is a major commitment to training — and pain.

"I am not a huge fan of the IM," she said with a laugh Monday. "Mainly because of the breaststroke. It's such a confidence sucker. You're doing the backstroke and you're feeling really great and all of a sudden you start seeing people on both sides slowly going past you.

"It's the most torturous lap of racing ever."

It is risky. At Trials, June 25-29, it'd be her only event on the last day. She could do all her specialties and whatever she has left she can pour into the IM. However, it's the first day of Worlds, July 28-Aug. 4.

It's not like she needs two-time Olympic breaststroke champion Rebecca Soni to give her lessons. Franklin's coach with the Colorado Stars, Todd Schmitz, has her train all four strokes anyway.

It breaks up the boredom. Ever tried swimming the backstroke for 4,000 meters, looking up at a ceiling for two hours? She also may swim the IM collegiately next season at California.

"I just like practicing all the four strokes because it really gets all your muscle groups going in your body and helps warm up your entire body," Franklin said. "Even days at meets when I'm only swimming free or backstroke I'll always warm up all four strokes just because it really loosens up everything."

Franklin, 17, is currently ranked only fourth in the U.S. in the IM with a time of 2:12.57 and is 16th in the world. As in the Olympics, only the top two at trials advance to Worlds.

"Sometimes if you focus way too much on one or two strokes, they can get totally exhausting," she said. "So if we do a workout with a whole main set of freestyle and I'm just like, 'Oh, my God! I'm dying!' at the end I'll throw in some butterflies because it's different.

"It gives my freestyle a break and lets me improve in my butterfly."

Read the full article in The Denver Post.

Morning Swim Show: Missy Franklin Ready to Hear Magic Word -- "Taper"
6/10/2013

Dick Franklin, whose daughter, Missy, won four Olympic gold medals in swimming at the 2012 Summer Games in London, is one of four dads to be honored at the American Diabetes Association’s Father of the Year banquet.

Former Denver Nugget Bill Hanzlik; Ed Haselden, chairman and chief executive officer of Haselden Construction; and Adam Sayers, co-founder and executive vice president of Axia Energy, also will be honored at the June 13 event. Festivities begin at 5:30 p.m.at the Hyatt Regency Tech Center.

The event is presented in partnership with the all-volunteer Denver Father’s Day Council. Co-chair Stephanie Loughner says the men were chosen for their ability to balance their personal and professional lives and to serve as role models for their children, while making a positive difference in their community.

Rob Cohen, also a co-chair, adds: “We are proud of these four exceptional fathers. They deserve recognition not only as fathers and community leaders, but also for the fight they are leading to prevent and find a cure for diabetes.”

Franklin, the executive director of Cleantech Open, is married to Dr. D.A. Franklin. He has a bachelor of science degree in marketing from St. Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia; an MBA from Dalhousie University, also in Halifax, and was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Commerce degree from St. Mary’s in 1999.

The not-for-profit Cleantech Open runs the world’s largest accelerator for clean technology entrepreneurs; in other words, finding, funding and encouraging those willing to address the world’s “most urgent energy, environmental and economic challenges.”

Haselden, when he’s not running the construction company that bears his name, is a member of The Moderators, a rock ‘n’ roll cover band that plays at numerous charitable fundraisers in the Denver area. Most recently, The Moderators shared the stage with the Colorado Symphony for its annual gala, From Bach … To Rock.

In May, Haselden and his wife, Jenni, celebrated 32 years of marriage. They have three grown children: Tera, Brent and Morgan.

Hanzlik spent 10 years as a player and coach in the Denver Nuggets organization and is currently in his eighth season as an analyst for game telecasts on Altitude. He is also co-founder and chief executive officer of the Gold Crown Foundation, overseeing its growth from a one-week summer girls’ basketball camp with an enrollment of 150 to its current 20,000 participants, ages 9 to 18, in numerous sports programs. He is married to Maribeth and they have four grown children.

Sayers, who has a master’s degree in petroleum engineering from Colorado School of Mines, worked for Orion Energy Partners for five years, before becoming a co-founder of Axia Energy. A licensed pilot, he enjoys recreational flying, skiing and golf.

He and Jamie, his wife of 16 years, have four children.

Father of the Year tickets are $200 and can be purchased by calling Kami Keiter, 720-855-1102. Additional information is available online.

Read the article and watch the video at Swimming World Magazine.

Missy Franklin’s dad among those to be honored at Denver’s Father of the Year banquet
6/7/2013

Dick Franklin, whose daughter, Missy, won four Olympic gold medals in swimming at the 2012 Summer Games in London, is one of four dads to be honored at the American Diabetes Association’s Father of the Year banquet.

Former Denver Nugget Bill Hanzlik; Ed Haselden, chairman and chief executive officer of Haselden Construction; and Adam Sayers, co-founder and executive vice president of Axia Energy, also will be honored at the June 13 event. Festivities begin at 5:30 p.m.at the Hyatt Regency Tech Center.

The event is presented in partnership with the all-volunteer Denver Father’s Day Council. Co-chair Stephanie Loughner says the men were chosen for their ability to balance their personal and professional lives and to serve as role models for their children, while making a positive difference in their community.

Rob Cohen, also a co-chair, adds: “We are proud of these four exceptional fathers. They deserve recognition not only as fathers and community leaders, but also for the fight they are leading to prevent and find a cure for diabetes.”

Franklin, the executive director of Cleantech Open, is married to Dr. D.A. Franklin. He has a bachelor of science degree in marketing from St. Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia; an MBA from Dalhousie University, also in Halifax, and was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Commerce degree from St. Mary’s in 1999.

The not-for-profit Cleantech Open runs the world’s largest accelerator for clean technology entrepreneurs; in other words, finding, funding and encouraging those willing to address the world’s “most urgent energy, environmental and economic challenges.”

Haselden, when he’s not running the construction company that bears his name, is a member of The Moderators, a rock ‘n’ roll cover band that plays at numerous charitable fundraisers in the Denver area. Most recently, The Moderators shared the stage with the Colorado Symphony for its annual gala, From Bach … To Rock.

In May, Haselden and his wife, Jenni, celebrated 32 years of marriage. They have three grown children: Tera, Brent and Morgan.

Hanzlik spent 10 years as a player and coach in the Denver Nuggets organization and is currently in his eighth season as an analyst for game telecasts on Altitude. He is also co-founder and chief executive officer of the Gold Crown Foundation, overseeing its growth from a one-week summer girls’ basketball camp with an enrollment of 150 to its current 20,000 participants, ages 9 to 18, in numerous sports programs. He is married to Maribeth and they have four grown children.

Sayers, who has a master’s degree in petroleum engineering from Colorado School of Mines, worked for Orion Energy Partners for five years, before becoming a co-founder of Axia Energy. A licensed pilot, he enjoys recreational flying, skiing and golf.
He and Jamie, his wife of 16 years, have four children.

Father of the Year tickets are $200 and can be purchased by calling Kami Keiter, 720-855-1102. Additional information is available online.

Read the full article in The Denver Post.

Reader’s Digest Says Franklin Is One of 50 “Surprising Reasons We Love America”
6/7/2013

Missy Franklin, 4-time Olympic gold medalist from the 2012 London Olympics, will be featured in the Reader’s Digest July issue. Issues hit the news stands next week, but if you have a subscription, check your mailbox. You should get it today!

Franklin’s honored as one of the “50 Surprising Reasons We Love America,” even though we’re not surprised in the swimming community. Franklin is one of 50 not-surprising reasons why America’s love with swimming is growing by the week. The effervescent teen is as good in front of the camera as she is behind the blocks, and lit up the cameras at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London where she won four gold and one bronze medal, and was a key leg to the U.S. 400 medley relay that broke the World Record (to go along with one of her own set in the 200 meter backstroke final.)

Not only is Franklin honored as one of the top 50, she’s honored as Number one of the top 50, because “Our Olympians stay in school.” This is a reference to Franklin’s decision to fight the lure of millions to not only swim out her high school season, but to commit to swimming two years in the NCAA at Cal before going pro in time for the 2016 Olympics.

Reader’s Digest will take the sport back to much of the casual Olympic audience, with a circulation of 5.5 million readers.

Read the full article at SwimSwam.

Watch Swimming Greats Do Starts and Turns – Santa Clara Grand Prix – Slow Motion Video
6/5/2013

The video above was captured by the Lundie brothers and company from Takeitlive.

They’re stalwart players in the swim scene, always there capturing the video stream for USA Swimming at Grand Prix competitions, Nationals, Junior Nationals, etc. The video above was captured at the 2013 Santa Clara International Grand Prix.

Many thanks to the Lundie’s for producing this swimming video…in super slow motion.

For age grouper swimmers and masters swimmers, this is exceptional footage of the best athletes on the planet doing streamline dolphin kicks, breakouts, and flip turns.

See if you can find your favorite swimmer. Matt Grevers, Missy Franklin, Ryan Lochte and more are all in this swimming video.

Read the article and watch the video at SwimSwam.

Nine months after London, Franklin and Lochte take time to reflect
6/4/2013

 SANTA CLARA -- For most swimmers this past weekend, the final meet on swimming's Grand Prix schedule, held at the George F. Haines International Swim Center in Santa Clara, was a last chance to fine-tune racing techniques and assess summer prospects before the world championship trials in Indianapolis later this month.

For Missy Franklin and Ryan Lochte, the two biggest still-active U.S. stars to emerge from London's Olympic pool, it was also an opportunity to marvel at how they survived their first nine months of bona fide celebrity status.

In between sessions on Saturday, the 18-year-old Franklin, the winner of four gold medals and a bronze in London, fielded questions while munching on a peanut butter sandwich and getting a shoulder and leg massage under a tent. As multi-tasking goes, that was nothing for her.

"I thought I was good at time management," she said between bites. "But this year has shown me I have a lot to learn. You hear how the Olympics changes people's careers, but I don't think you can totally understand it until you go through it. It's been incredible, it's been wonderful."

Before October dawned, Franklin had been a guest on the Today Show and the Tonight Show; filmed a cameo with Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson in their movie The Internship (her part, alas, would land on the cutting room floor); danced with Novak Djokovic and Carly Rae Jepsen at Kids' Day at the US Open; served as honorary captain for the Broncos; thrown out the first pitch at a Rockies game; graced red carpets at the MTV Video Music Awards and a National Portrait Gallery opening; squeezed in a recruiting trip to Cal-Berkeley, the school she'll attend this fall; and started her senior year at Regis Jesuit High in Aurora, CO.

"Everyone told us it would be over by October," says Franklin's mom, DA. "They said, 'Be prepared for a crazy August, September and October. Come November, nobody cares anymore.' I thought, maybe I'll go back to work. And then it exploded."

The new year saw Franklin serving as Grand Marshall of the Fiesta Bowl, on the red carpet for the Golden Globes, leading Regis to the state 5A title before a sellout crowd of 1,000; turning in a cameo on one of her favorite TV shows, Pretty Little Liars; accepting the Sullivan Award in Florida; and getting backstage tickets at a Justin Bieber concert. When Franklin and a friend got to their seats near the front row after a tour with the Biebs, Franklin was so overwhelmed by autograph seekers that security hustled the two teenagers up to a suite.

The need for security guards -- Regis retained a few for Franklin's graduation in May -- was one unforeseen change in Franklin's life. Overflowing mail, which now arrives by the boxload, was another. DA, friends and neighbors help Missy sort through mash notes, autograph and photo requests, letters addressed simply "Missy Franklin, USA" -- "You and Santa Claus," the Franklins' letter carrier likes to joke -- and anything the NCAA might deem "extra benefits," and move them out or into boxes labeled "Missy Read" and "Missy Sign."

By early May DA thought she was ahead of the postal crush. "And then her birthday came," she says. In the days surrounding Missy's 18th birthday in mid-May (on which occasion she would be serenaded by Prince Harry, among others, at a reception in Denver), the Franklins' home was flooded with cards and gifts. Though Missy's dad, Dick, takes the common-sense approach that "birthday presents are birthday presents" and thus keepers, DA, who has spent the last two years negotiating the NCAA's thicket of rules and has Cal's compliance office on speed dial, knows better.

"It depends who it's from," she says.

Trying to keep Missy's amateur status intact so she can swim two years for Cal before turning pro ahead of the 2016 Rio Games has been a sleep-killing stress for DA, a physician who put medicine aside a few years ago to temporarily manage her daughter's career.

When the producers of Pretty Little Liars and The Internship told her state law demanded they pay Missy for her work, DA stashed the checks -- she doesn't remember their amounts -- "somewhere." ("We didn't cash them, but we still got taxed on them," says Dick.) Missy's acting work made her eligible for a Screen Actors Guild card, "but I was too scared to get that," says DA. "I was sure it would be some violation." (Much to DA's surprise, Missy's amateur status recently earned the NCAA's stamp of approval.)

Though her celebrity may now be up there with St. Nick's, Franklin has stayed remarkably grounded. One of her top priorities this year, after schoolwork, was hanging out with her friends. As the guest at an assembly at her old elementary school, she insisted on high-fiving or hugging all 600 kids. She calls the young cancer patients she visits at a local hospital "my inspiration." As for security? "I still refuse to believe I need it," she says.

"This year just reinforced what I've always known about Missy," says Todd Schmitz, her coach at the Colorado Stars. "She is a genuine person. Four gold medals didn't change her one bit."

Her enthusiasm for swimming didn't wane much either. "I'm still seeing what I want to see all the time in practice," says Schmitz. "We're putting up repeats that we were putting up last summer, if not faster."

At Santa Clara, Franklin posted wins in the 200m back and 200m free and came in second in the 100m free, the 100m back and the 200m IM.

"I think she's doing great," says Cal coach Teri McKeever, who will take over Franklin's training in late August. "I think the year after the Olympics is challenging for a lot of the Olympians, especially ones that experience notable success. How do you get back and get refocused? I think it helps when you're 17 as opposed to, say, 25."

Or, say, 28 -- like another Olympic celebrity Ryan Lochte. To hear him tell it, Lochte's immersion in the post-Olympic high life nearly sank his career. After returning from London with five medals, including two golds, he hit the talk show, photo shoot and red-carpet circuits; canoodled with childhood crush Carmen Electra; made cameos on 30 Rock and Beverly Hills 90210; and starred in his own reality TV show, What Would Ryan Lochte Do?, which recently aired on E! to mixed reviews.

"You name it, I did it," said Lochte as he sat on a bench outside the swim center's office after winning the 400 IM and the 200 back on Saturday. "After the Olympics, I wasn't swimming, I was doing all this other stuff that most people only dream about doing. I was partying, hitting red carpets, and being a celeb. I was meeting all these people and I was like, 'Man, this is awesome!' Why would I want to go back and train for three four hours every day when I'm living the life? You get sucked into that lifestyle. It takes over, just like that."

Lochte, who had never taken a significant break from swimming, says the pool was barely a thought for several months. "There were a few times this year when I said, I don't want to swim anymore. I'm done," he says. When he did finally show up to practice at the University of Florida, his coach, Gregg Troy, spelled out his diminishing prospects. "He said, 'You're not going to be remembered in the next couple years if you keep this up, you're not going to make the Olympic team,'" says Lochte. "Once he started talking about my dreams, I was like, crap, I don't want to be one of those guys, ten years down the road who is saying, what if I had just stuck with it?"

Even after that gut check, Lochte's training was interrupted by other commitments, including his eight-week reality TV shoot and the ensuing promotional tour, which included trips to New York, LA, and Miami. The fact that the show has not been met with universal acclaim -- even Troy, who is not a fan of reality TV in general, admits he only watched ten minutes of the first episode -- doesn't faze Lochte. "I hear people loving it and I hear haters -- oh my god, what a waste of time!" says Lochte. "But you know what, I'm living my life the way I want to live it. I'm okay. I was having fun doing that show. But I know I'm an athlete, not an actor."

With that adventure behind him, Lochte cancelled all his commitments and "turned down a lot of money," he says, in the last five weeks to focus on training. "I've probably put in the best four or five weeks of my life," he says. It paid off in Santa Clara: In addition to wins in the 400m individual medley, the 200m back, the 100m fly, and the 200m IM, Lochte claimed second in the 100m free, just behind Olympic champ Nathan Adrian. He says he doesn't know what he'll be swimming at the world championship trials in Indianapolis June 25-29, but its unlikely he'll do both the 400m IM and the 100m fly, which are scheduled back-to-back on Day 3.

However Lochte fares in Indy and at the Worlds in Barcleona later this summer, he'll be making changes in the fall. After 11 years in Gainesville, he's moving -- he won't say where to -- to get a different kind of training. He'll keep a place in town so he can still train with Troy on occasion. "I've already talked to him and he's okay with it," says Lochte. "Instead of being full time with him, I'm going to be going other places and doing other things."

In the next three years, he promises, those "other things" won't exclude training. "I don't know what to expect this summer because my training has not been there," he says. "So I'm taking what I can get. It's a learning experience. Living the celeb life has been fun, but I don't think I can do it full time again."

Read the full article in Sports Illustrated.

Franklin Can’t Wait for the Competitive Cal Atmosphere – Video Interview
6/4/2013

2013 Santa Clara Grand Prix coverage of women’s 200 backstroke as reported by Braden Keith:

The slower pace in the women’s 200 free seems to have paid off for Missy Franklin in the 200 backstroke, as she looked fresh on back-to-back races winning pretty easily in 2:08.24. She was out in 1:02.8, and came home in 1:05.4. Time-wise, that’s her best performance of the meet so far, and it came on the second half of a double. That shows just how far out ahead of the rest of the world she is in the 200 back.

Meanwhile, in a battle for 2nd, Kendyl Stewart got all of the lead she needed in the first 100 meters, and held of Canadian Hilary Caldwell for 2nd in 2:10.72. Caldwell was 2:11.92 for 3rd, and Short Course World Championship silver-medalist Bonnie Brandon was 4th in 2:12.90.

Australia’s Emily Seebohm was a jump back in 5th with a 2:14.77 – about a second slower than she was in the morning.

Mexican Maria Gonzalez-Ramirez won the B-Final in 2:12.84 as the newest member of the international Gator Swim Club training group, and Australian Mikkayla Sheridan was 11th overall in 2:13.80.

Watch the interview and read the article on SwimSwam.

Natalie Coughlin, Missy Franklin star at Santa Clara
6/3/2013

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) -- Natalie Coughlin wants people to know she can still swim competitively. Teen star Missy Franklin is just getting started.

Coughlin won the 50-meter freestyle and Franklin took the 200 freestyle and 200 backstroke Saturday in the Santa Clara Grand Prix.

The 30-year-old Coughlin, a three-time Olympic champion, took the 50 free in 25.06 seconds. The 18-year-old Franklin, a four-time winner last year in the London Olympics, won the 200 free in 1:58.26 and the 200 back in 2:08.24.

Olympic star Ryan Lochte won the 400 individual medley in a meet-record 4:11.36 and took the 200 back in 1:57.51. Nathan Adrian set his second meet record in two days, winning the 50 freestyle in 21.76, and Connor Jaeger won his third event of the meet, topping the 200-free field in 1:49.14.

Coughlin, who failed to qualify for an individual event in last year's Olympic Games, has been training since the middle of January to gauge the possibility of another Olympic run.

"I think people think I should be having babies," said Coughlin, who has been married four years. "I wanted to continue swimming."

Coughlin felt she needed to end her swimming days on a better note than last year's Olympics, where she was limited to swimming one relay event, in the trials only, and a bronze medal.

"I'm better than that," she said. "I didn't want to end like that. I'm treating last year like a learning experience."

Coughlin said she got interested in the sprints as a way to change things up. She'll likely limit herself to one or two events as she moves forward.

"I'm training with some of the best sprinters in the world," Coughlin said. "It's something different and I find it interesting. I'm enjoying the process. I get bored doing the same things every day."

Caitlin Leverenz won the women's 400 individual medley in 4:40.05. Coughlin and Leverenz graduated from the University of California in Berkeley, where Franklin starts in the fall.

"I went over to Berkeley before I came here," Franklin said. "I got my classes and it was awesome just being on the campus. I'm looking forward to so much."

Franklin and Rachael Bootsma finished just ahead of Coughlin in last year's 100 freestyle Olympic trials, regulating Coughlin to the relay pool.

Franklin's victories were in back-to-back events, something she enjoys.

"It doesn't give me a lot of time to think," she said. "You just go and swim."

Adrian won his sprint in a field that included the world record holder in Brazil's Cesar Cielo.

"It's a solid time," said Adrian, who works out with Coughlin. "It's where I want to be moving into the trials."

The national championships and world trials will be held in Indianapolis late this month.

"As far as I'm concerned, the Olympics never happened," Lochte said. "Whatever has happened, is over and I can't do anything about it. All I can do is try to fix some of the small things."

Read the full article in Sports Illustrated.

Missy Franklin among Olympic swimming stars at Santa Clara Grand Prix
5/30/2013

SANTA CLARA -- Cal-bound Missy Franklin and a host of other Olympic swim stars headline the Santa Clara Grand Prix that begins Thursday night with two distance events.

Also entered in the four-day meet are Berkeley-based Olympic medalists Nathan Adrian, Natalie Coughlin, Anthony Ervin and Dana Vollmer. The meet at the George F. Haines International Swim Center also features Ryan Lochte, Cesar Cielo of Brazil and Emily Seebohm of Australia.

The final grand prix meet of the year will serve as a tune up for the national championships, June 25-29, in Indianapolis. America's top swimmers are trying to qualify for the 2013 World Championships, July 28 — Aug. 4 in Barcelona.

The women's 100-meter backstroke
USA's Missy Franklin, left, and USA's Elizabeth Beisel, right, celebrate their gold and bronze medal performances, respectively, in the Women's 200m Backstroke at the Aquatics Centre for the London 2012 Olympics in London, England on Friday, Aug. 3, 2012. (Nhat V. Meyer/Mercury News)
Sunday could be a preview of the World Championship final with reigning Olympic champion Franklin facing Seebohm, whose best time of 58.23 seconds is faster than Franklin's U.S. record. The Colorado teen also will face Bear teammates Rachel Bootsma and Elizabeth Pelton.

Another premier women's race will be the 100 freestyle Friday featuring former Cal standouts Jessica Hardy, Madison Kennedy, Coughlin and Vollmer as well as Allison Schmitt, Franklin and Seebohm.

The men's 100 freestyle Friday also is one of the meet's main draws with world-record holder Cielo leading the way. It also features Cullen Jones, Matt Grevers, Jimmy Feigen and Adrian and Ervin.

The meet also could mark the progress of Lochte, who won the gold medal in the 400 individual medley. Lochte just finished a reality TV show "What Would Ryan Lochte do?" He shared the spotlight in London with Michael Phelps, who is retired.

Others to watch this weekend include San Jose breaststroker Scott Weltz and former Cal star Caitlin Leverenz, both 2012 Olympians.

Read the full article in the Mercury News.

Denver Athletic Club salutes student-athletes of the year
5/23/2013

Xavier Lewis of Eaglecrest and Valarie Allman of Silver Creek were named male and female student-athletes of the year Wednesday at The Denver Athletic Club's 38th annual banquet.

Sponsored by The Denver Post, 9News and The DAC, the two seniors were recognized for their accomplishments through athletics, academics and character. They were chosen for their performances throughout the 2012-13 school year and were highlighted along with legendary American skier Billy Kidd and Missy Franklin, Regis Jesuit's Olympic champion swimmer.

Lewis, a safety in football, was The Denver Post's 63rd Gold Helmet Award winner after leading the Raptors to a turnaround season. He also competed in track and field, had a 4.6 GPA and signed to play at Wyoming.

"I just want to thank everyone," Lewis said.

Allman is the state's best prep performer in girls discus (her best throw was 184 feet, 2 inches) and she came less than 8 feet from the national high school record. She had a 4.4 GPA and will compete at Stanford.

"I was so pleased just to be able to be here," Allman said.

Lewis and Allman were chosen from finalists who included Michael Burns of Columbine, Garet Krohn of Arvada, Zack Golditch of Gateway, Emilio Martinez of Greeley West, Michal Bower of Loveland, Catherine Ellis of Kent Denver, Haley Hutton of Valley and Rhianna Williams of Fossil Ridge.

Kidd, who won silver in slalom at the 1964 Olympics in Austria, was cited for The DAC's career achievement award and Franklin, who won four gold medals and a bronze last summer at the London Olympics, was named the Colorado athlete of the year. She swam for Regis Jesuit the past two years, insisting on retaining her eligibility, and will swim collegiately at California.

The DAC's 2013 winners: Anabelle Stevens, kids athlete; Jehanzeb Khan, youth male athlete; Chloe Dikeou, youth female athlete; Sarah Hartley, female athlete; Reid Bundgard, male athlete; Sandra Huzyk, master female; and Jamie Brown, master male.

Read the full article in The Denver Post.

First Wave of "Teen Choice 2013 Nominees Announced
5/23/2013

 "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2" leads Movie Categories with Most Nominations

Vote for Your Favorite Nominees Online at teenchoiceawards.com.

Special Airs Sunday, August 11, LIVE on FOX

TEEN CHOICE 2013 will once again break into summer and celebrate the hottest teen icons in television, music, film, sports, fashion, comedy and the web in the choicest, star-studded two-hour event airing live Sunday, August 11 (8:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed) on FOX. "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2" leads the TEEN CHOICE 2013 nominees with seven nominations.

Starting today, fans ages 13-19 can vote once each day per category for their favorite TEEN CHOICE 2013 "Wave One" nominees at www.teenchoiceawards.com. Host(s), performers, presenters and additional nominees will be announced soon.

Following are "Wave One" categories and nominees for TEEN CHOICE 2013:
MOVIES

Choice Movie: Action
"G.I. Joe: Retaliation"
"Iron Man 3"
"Skyfall"
"The Bourne Legacy"
"The Dark Knight Rises"

Choice Movie Actor: Action
Christian Bale, "The Dark Knight Rises"
Daniel Craig, "Skyfall"
Robert Downey, Jr., "Iron Man 3"
Chris Hemsworth, "Red Dawn"
Dwayne Johnson, "G.I. Joe: Retaliation"

Choice Movie Actress: Action
Jessica Biel, "Total Recall"
Anne Hathaway, "The Dark Knight Rises"
Adrianne Palicki, "G.I. Joe: Retaliation"
Gwyneth Paltrow, "Iron Man 3"
Rachel Weisz, "The Bourne Legacy"

Choice Movie: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
"Beautiful Creatures"
"Iron Man 3"
"Oblivion"
"Oz the Great and Powerful"
"The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2"

Choice Movie Actor: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Tom Cruise, "Oblivion"
Robert Downey, Jr., "Iron Man 3"
James Franco, "Oz the Great and Powerful"
Taylor Lautner, "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2"
Robert Pattinson, "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2"

Choice Movie Actress: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Mila Kunis, "Oz the Great and Powerful"
Gwyneth Paltrow, "Iron Man 3"
Saoirse Ronan, "The Host"
Kristen Stewart, "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2"
Michelle Williams, "Oz the Great and Powerful"

Choice Movie: Drama
"Argo"
"Les Misérables"
"The Great Gatsby"
"The Impossible"
"The Perks of Being a Wallflower"

Choice Movie Actor: Drama
Ben Affleck, "Argo"
Bradley Cooper, "The Words"
Leonardo DiCaprio, "The Great Gatsby"
Hugh Jackman, "Les Misérables"
Logan Lerman, "The Perks of Being a Wallflower"

Choice Movie Actress: Drama
Halle Berry, "The Call"
Anne Hathaway, "Les Misérables"
Carey Mulligan, "The Great Gatsby"
Emma Watson, "The Perks of Being a Wallflower"
Naomi Watts, "The Impossible"

Choice Movie: Comedy
"Identity Thief"
"Peeples"
"Pitch Perfect"
"The Incredible Burt Wonderstone"
"Warm Bodies"

Choice Movie Actor: Comedy
Skylar Astin, "Pitch Perfect"
Jason Bateman, "Identity Thief"
Steve Carell, "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone"
Nicholas Hoult, "Warm Bodies"
Craig Robinson, "Peeples"

Choice Movie Actress: Comedy
Anna Kendrick, "Pitch Perfect"
Melissa McCarthy, "Identity Thief"
Kerry Washington, "Peeples"
Olivia Wilde, "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone"
Rebel Wilson, "Pitch Perfect"

Choice Movie: Romance
"Beautiful Creatures"
"Les Misérables"
"Safe Haven"
"The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2"
"Warm Bodies"

Choice Movie Actor: Romance
Josh Duhamel, "Safe Haven"
Alden Ehrenreich, "Beautiful Creatures"
Nicholas Hoult, "Warm Bodies"
Robert Pattinson, "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2"
Eddie Redmayne, "Les Misérables"

Choice Movie Actress: Romance
Jessica Biel, "Playing for Keeps"
Alice Englert, "Beautiful Creatures"
Julianne Hough, "Safe Haven"
Amanda Seyfried, "Les Misérables"
Kristen Stewart, "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2"
TELEVISION

Choice TV Show: Drama
"Gossip Girl"
"Nashville"
"Pretty Little Liars"
"Revenge"
"Switched At Birth"

Choice TV Actor: Drama
Penn Badgley, "Gossip Girl"
Joshua Bowman, "Revenge"
Lucas Grabeel, "Switched At Birth"
Ian Harding, "Pretty Little Liars"
Nick Wechsler, "Revenge"

Choice TV Actress: Drama
Troian Bellisario, "Pretty Little Liars"
Blake Lively, "Gossip Girl"
Vanessa Marano, "Switched At Birth"
Hayden Panettiere, "Nashville"
Emily VanCamp, "Revenge"

Choice TV Show: Fantasy/Sci-Fi
"Arrow"
"Beauty and The Beast"
"Once Upon a Time"
"Supernatural"
"The Vampire Diaries"

Choice TV Actor: Fantasy/Sci-Fi
Jensen Ackles, "Supernatural"
Stephen Amell, "Arrow"
Jared Padalecki, "Supernatural"
Ian Somerhalder, "The Vampire Diaries"
Paul Wesley, "The Vampire Diaries"

Choice TV Actress: Fantasy/Sci-Fi
Katie Cassidy, "Arrow"
Nina Dobrev, "The Vampire Diaries"
Ginnifer Goodwin, "Once Upon a Time"
Kat Graham, "The Vampire Diaries"
Kristin Kreuk, "Beauty and the Beast"

Choice TV Show: Action
"Chicago Fire"
"Elementary"
"Hawaii Five-0"
"NCIS: Los Angeles"
"Nikita"

Choice TV Actor: Action
Scott Caan, "Hawaii Five-0"
LL Cool J, "NCIS: Los Angeles"
Jonny Lee Miller, "Elementary"
Jesse Spencer, "Chicago Fire"
Shane West, "Nikita"

Choice TV Actress: Action
Lyndsy Fonseca, "Nikita"
Lucy Liu, "Elementary"
Grace Park, "Hawaii Five-0"
Maggie Q, "Nikita"
Monica Raymund, "Chicago Fire"

Choice TV Show: Comedy
"The Big Bang Theory"
GLEE
"Modern Family"
NEW GIRL
"Suburgatory"

Choice TV Actor: Comedy
Chris Colfer, GLEE
Jake Johnson, NEW GIRL
Ashton Kutcher, "Two And a Half Men"
Jim Parsons, "The Big Bang Theory"
Eric Stonestreet, "Modern Family"

Choice TV Actress: Comedy
Kaley Cuoco, "The Big Bang Theory"
Zooey Deschanel, NEW GIRL
Mindy Kaling, THE MINDY PROJECT
Lea Michele, GLEE
Bridgit Mendler, "Good Luck Charlie"

Choice TV: Animated Show
"Adventure Time"
BOB'S BURGERS
FAMILY GUY
"Gravity Falls"
THE SIMPSONS

Choice TV: Reality Competition Show
AMERICAN IDOL
"The Bachelor"
"Dancing with the Stars"
"The Voice"
THE X FACTOR

Choice TV: Reality Show
"Dance Moms"
"Here Comes Honey Boo Boo"
"Keeping Up with the Kardashians"
"Married to Jonas"
"Tia & Tamera"
MUSIC

Choice Male Artist
Justin Bieber
Bruno Mars
Phillip Phillips
Pitbull
Justin Timberlake

Choice Female Artist
Selena Gomez
Demi Lovato
Pink
Rihanna
Taylor Swift

Choice Music Group
Big Time Rush
fun.
Maroon 5
One Direction
The Wanted

Choice R&B Artist
Beyoncé
Alicia Keys
Bruno Mars
Miguel
Trey Songz

Choice Hip-Hop/Rap Artist
Drake
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Nicki Minaj
Pitbull
Kanye West

Choice Rock Group
AWOLNATION
Imagine Dragons
Mumford & Sons
Paramore
The Lumineers

Choice Electronic Dance Music (EDM) Artist
Deadmau5
David Guetta
Calvin Harris
Kaskade
Skrillex
Swedish House Mafia

Choice Male Country Artist
Jason Aldean
Luke Bryan
Eric Church
Hunter Hayes
Blake Shelton

Choice Female Country Artist
Jana Kramer
Miranda Lambert
Kacey Musgraves
Taylor Swift
Carrie Underwood

Choice Country Group
Florida Georgia Line
Lady Antebellum
Little Big Town
The Band Perry
Thompson Square
FASHION

Choice Female Hottie
Miley Cyrus
Megan Fox
Selena Gomez
Mila Kunis
Demi Lovato

Choice Male Hottie
Justin Bieber
Liam Hemsworth
Taylor Lautner
Harry Styles
Channing Tatum

Choice Smile
Selena Gomez
Taylor Lautner
Demi Lovato
Harry Styles
Taylor Swift
Other

Choice Female Athlete
Gabby Douglas
Missy Franklin
Alex Morgan
Danica Patrick
Lindsey Vonn
Serena Williams

Choice Male Athlete
David Beckham
LeBron James
Colin Kaepernick
Michael Phelps
Shaun White

Choice Comedian
Ellen DeGeneres
Jimmy Fallon
Melissa McCarthy
Daniel Tosh
Rebel Wilson

Read the full article at Teen Choice Awards.

Missy Franklin graduating from high school
5/22/2013

AURORA, Colo. (AP) - Olympian Missy Franklin has graduated from high school.

The four-time gold medalist donned a cap and gown with classmates from Regis Jesuit High School in a commencement ceremony Monday evening in Denver.

Franklin isn't ready to become a professional athlete yet. She'll swim in the world championships in Barcelona this summer before heading to the University of California at Berkeley in the fall.

Franklin plans to swim for her college team the next two years, finally turning pro after the 2015 NCAA championships. That will give her a chance to earn some of the big endorsement dollars leading into the 2016 Olympics.

She celebrated her 18th birthday earlier this month. She attended a reception that night with Britain's Prince Harry, who joined the crowd in singing "Happy Birthday" to her.

Read the full article and watch the video at 9NEWS.

 

Growing up: Now 18, Olympic star Missy Franklin ready to graduate from Colorado high school
5/16/2013

Missy Franklin is starting to feel like a grown-up.

“I don’t know where the time went,” she said, breaking into a bubbly laugh. “We just went to the bank the other day and signed everything over. It’s crazy. I do feel a little bit older.”

Sure, the star of the London Olympics still has much of her life in front of her. But Franklin reached one important milestone last week, celebrating her 18th birthday, and she’ll mark another Monday when she graduates from her Denver-area high school.

“It’s been absolutely incredible, so much fun,” she told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. “It’s impossible to believe it’s almost over.”

Since returning from London, where she won four gold medals and five medals overall, Franklin has been able to meet everyone from Justin Bieber to Ben Affleck to Prince Harry — heady stuff, indeed. But she’s just as thrilled about being able to relish many of the normal activities of a senior at Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora, Colo.

Franklin led a retreat at the beginning of the school year (it’s kind of secretive, so don’t ask for details). She attended the winter formal, not to mention a couple of proms (one at her school, the other at her date’s school). She served as co-president of a club that organized various activities for the senior class, such as hot chocolate and cookies during a finals study breaks. She swam on the high school team, not surprisingly leading Jesuit to a state championship.

“We had so much fun,” Franklin said. “Everything was perfect. It was an incredible senior year.”

While most Olympians rightfully attempt to cash in on a triumph that comes only once every four years, there was never any doubt that Franklin would finish up high school after her remarkable performance in London. In fact, she said the thought of returning for her senior year at Regis was a big reason she did so well at the Olympics, becoming one of the breakout stars of the U.S. team with both her performance in the pool and exuberant personality.

Unlike so many young athletes, she didn’t want to miss anything along the way.

“I think it’s such a vital part of growing up, such a huge thing for me,” Franklin said. “My parents and I put so much emphasis on just staying normal. I wanted those experiences. I don’t want to look back 10 years from now wishing I had done my senior year of high school, wishing I had gone to my prom, wishing I had experienced those things. The people we meet, the experiences we go through, that’s what makes us the people we are, the people we are growing into. This is our time to make mistakes, to learn from them, to learn to shine. It’s such a beautiful time in your life.”

She’ll head to the University of California at Berkeley in the fall, still not ready to become a professional athlete. She plans to swim for her college team the next two years, finally turning pro after the 2015 NCAA championships, which will give her a chance to earn some of the big endorsement dollars leading into the Rio Olympics.

Read the full article in The Washington Post.

Prince Harry, Missy Franklin open Warrior Games
5/13/2013

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Escorted by Britain's Prince Harry and swimming superstar Missy Franklin, a U.S. Navy officer blinded by an improvised bomb in Afghanistan lit an Olympic-style cauldron Saturday to launch the Warrior Games for wounded service members.

Lt. Bradley Snyder, Harry and Franklin completed the last leg of a brief torch relay at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs to formally start the games.

All three lifted the torch to the lip of the cauldron to ignite the flame.

It was a touching start to the Paralympic-style games, which run through Thursday. About 260 athletes are competing in basketball, volleyball, shooting, archery, track and field and swimming — Snyder's sport.

Britain sent a 35-member team, and the prince met with the athletes earlier in the day. He also sat on a gymnasium floor in a circle of 12 sitting volleyball players, batting the ball around amid whoops and laughter.

Harry served as a combat helicopter in pilot in Afghanistan, and the British veterans said that makes him easy to talk to.

"He knows what it's like out there," said Army Capt. Dave Henson, a member of the volleyball team. "He's been on the ground and in the air."

Henson, 28, lost both legs when an improvised bomb exploded in Afghanistan two years ago. He said Harry took a personal interest in the athletes' recovery and the quality of their health care.

Royal Marine Matthew Hancox, 25, said the prince recognized some wounded veterans he had met before and asked them how they were recovering.

"He's very down-to-earth," said Hancox, who was shot in the chest in Afghanistan in 2011.

The prince also planned to attend a volleyball match later Saturday.

The visit to Colorado got underway Friday night when Harry charmed dozens of dignitaries, British expatriates, students and military officers at a cocktail party welcoming him to Colorado. He also joined the crowd in singing "Happy Birthday" to Franklin, a Coloradan who was celebrating turning 18 at a golf club south of Denver.

She won four gold medals in the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

A captain in Britain's Army Air Corps, Harry has deployed to Afghanistan twice, and he wore a brown camouflage uniform and tan combat boots when he met with the British team.

His first deployment, as a forward air controller in 2007-2008, was cut short after 10 weeks when details of his whereabouts were disclosed in the media.

On his second deployment, he was a co-pilot and gunner on an Apache helicopter.

He acknowledged to reporters he had targeted Taliban fighters, and when asked if he had killed anyone, said, "Yeah, so, lots of people have."

He's attending the Colorado games because he believes the wounded deserve recognition, according to a statement from St. James' Palace in London, the official residence of the royal family.

"He seemed very interested in what stage we are all in in terms of our rehabilitation," said Erica Vey, a veteran of the British Air Force.

Vey, who competes in track and field and shooting, had a leg amputated after an injury she suffered when a cargo plane had to take sudden evasive action.

"He was quite easy to talk to," she said of the prince.

Harry caused a scandal on his last trip to the U.S. when he was photographed frolicking nude with an unidentified woman in a Las Vegas hotel suite in August.

"It was probably a classic example of me probably being too much army, and not enough prince," he said afterward.

Read the full article in USA Today.

Happy 18th Birthday, Missy Franklin from NBC Olympic Talk
5/13/2013

Missy Franklin turns 18 Friday, which means she’s accomplished more in her childhood than most of us will achieve in our entire adult lives. In honor of her birthday we thought we’d dig up 18 fun facts about her you that might not know.

Then we found out that is a road well traveled.

There’s 25 facts about her here, 10 facts over here, and yes, even 18 facts here, which we feel were tallied a bit prematurely. There are dozens and dozens (and dozens) of fun facts about Missy Franklin. Some highlights from these lists include that her car is a Toyota 4 Runner named Blake, she loves dim sum, she has a crush/is in a mutual adoration society with Justin Bieber, and she’s actually Canadian – kind of.

But here’s what you really need to know: Franklin is as charismatic a personality as she is a gifted athlete. In the pool, she dominated the competition, winning five medals, including four gold, en route to leading the U.S. women’s swim team to an incredible showing in London. Outside of the pool, she charmed the socks off of the world with her ebullient yet grounded personality. Also, her parents are pretty great.

Next up for Franklin is college. She turned down the option of going pro and will instead head to Cal Berkeley, where she’ll probably lead the Golden Bears to a victory here and there before she leaves to being training for Rio. And when that comes around, the world will once again train its attention on her — to see what she does in the pool, and the cool grace with which she does it.

By then she’ll be 21 — the perfect chance for a 21 Fun Facts about Missy Franklin post.

Read the full article in NBC Olympic Talk.

Prince Harry works the room at Colorado reception and meets Missy Franklin
5/13/2013

SEDALIA, Colo. (AP) — Britain's Prince Harry charmed dozens of dignitaries, British expatriates, students and military officers at a cocktail party welcoming him to Colorado Friday night and then joined the crowd in singing "Happy Birthday" to Olympian Missy Franklin, who was celebrating her 18th birthday.

Harry went table-to-table for about an hour at the party at the Sanctuary Golf Club south of Denver. He asked Franklin, attending with her parents, for a rundown of her medals while he took some ribbing about the shrieking female fans who greeted his arrival in Washington from U.S. Reps. Cory Gardner and Mike Coffman.

At one table on the patio looking out over the rolling hills toward Pike's Peak, Harry said he was glad to see a group of Americans and Britons having Pimm's Cups, summery English drinks, together.

Deborah Read Fowler, a Briton living in Colorado, said the prince had obviously done his research about the company they all worked for.

"And he goes to Afghanistan. How can you not respect that?" she said.

His effect on the ladies was on display in a more muted way here.

Several men brought their 20-something daughters to the reception. And when Harry went over to meet members of the band, two members acknowledged they were too overwhelmed to really carry on a conversation.

University of Denver students Jenna Bainbridge of Castle Rock and Samantha Barrasso of Aurora said the prince jokingly asked them what performers they were better than.

"He's very charismatic. He obviously doesn't hide his personality. And he's handsome, so that doesn't hurt," Bainbridge said.

Harry is in Colorado to attend the Warrior Games this weekend in Colorado Springs. More than 200 wounded servicemen and women from the U.S. and Britain will participate.

The visit is part of a weeklong visit to the United States that will also include trips to parts of New Jersey damaged by Superstorm Sandy. He'll end his trip by playing in the Sentebale Polo Cup match in Greenwich, Conn.

Harry recently spent 20 weeks in Afghanistan as co-pilot gunner on an Apache attack helicopter and has been a big supporter of charities to help wounded service members.

On Saturday he'll attend the opening ceremonies for the Warrior Games at the Olympic Training Center. That event is closed to the public but spectators are welcome to attend the event competitions, which are free, starting Sunday. Harry is scheduled to attend Sunday's public cycling event at the Air Force Academy.

He plans another outing with wounded military personnel later this year when he participates in the South Pole Allied Challenge. Teams from Britain, Australia, Britain, Canada and the United States will race 208 miles to the pole.

Read the full article at the San Francisco Chronicle.

Happy birthday to local sports hero Missy Franklin
5/13/2013

KUSA - Let's give a big shout out to one of our favorite local athletes: Missy Franklin.

She's more mature than most adults, and on Friday, she finally is an adult.

Happy 18th birthday to the five-time Olympic medalist who's about to graduate from Regis Jesuit High School and head to college at Cal-Berkley.

Watch the video and read the article at 9News.

‘Touch The Wall’ Will Be A Must-See For Missy Franklin Fans
5/9/2013

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4) – For the past 14 years Olympian Missy Franklin has focused on a key thought — “Touch the Wall.” Now that’s the title of a new documentary about Franklin’s journey to Olympic gold set for release at the end of the year.

Dick Franklin invited filmmakers to essentially join the family four years ago. The documentary provides a look at how Missy’s growing fame affected everyone.

“Whenever people come up to me, I kind of have to have that moment, ‘How do they know me?’ ” Missy told the film crew. “There’s some parts of my life that are completely and totally different, but some parts are the exactly the same since the day I’ve been born.”

 

But as the documentary details, life certainly is not exactly the same for the Franklin family. Her mother, D.A. Franklin, who was a doctor, became her manager while Dad essentially turned into a Sherpa, making sure Missy had everything she needed for every trip.

The film also includes Missy’s coach and fellow Olympian Kara Lynn Joyce. Joyce decided to move to Colorado specifically to train with Missy.

“I actually remember the first time we were talking about it,” Missy told CBS4’s Vic Lombardi. “My mom brought it up, ‘Missy you know there’s this Olympian who’s thinking about coming out here and training with Todd and you.’ I was like, ‘No way!’ ”

PHOTO GALLERIES: Missy Franklin At The Olympics | Missy Franklin’s Whirlwind Post-Olympics Tour

Joyce said it was all about getting the right mindset, an Olympic mindset.

“When I moved here about two years and I told people I was coming to Denver, Colorado to train with Missy Franklin, the 15-year-old phenom. Everyone was like ‘Who?’ Joyce told Lombardi. “’You’ll know, you’ll know soon.’ “

The pair bonded with Missy calling Joyce her “mom-slash-big sister-slash-friend.”

Joyce said the documentary is about more than just Missy’s personal relationships.

“I think it’s going to be great for Denver and the state of Colorado,” Joyce said. “It’s a film about this community and what this community did to bring that girl.”

Missy said the great thing about the movie is how it touches so many levels.

“It just shows our story from so many different angles. I think that’s one of the coolest perspectives about it. You can watch it as a parent, you can watch as a coach, you can watch it as an athlete,” said Missy. “You can always learn from it.”

But learning and documenting is not where “Touch the Wall” touches Missy the most.

“Honestly, I think it just shows us having a blast at what we love.”

Read the full article and watch the video at CBS Denver.

Olympian visits paradise for a purpose
5/6/2013

KUSA - There are only a few classes left for the seniors at Regis Jesuit High School. Prom was Saturday. Soon finals will be behind them as well.

Spring Break seems like it was long ago. It wasn't.

Dawn revealed the best of Bimini. It is a slice of serenity that is 53 miles east of Miami, but it feels infinitely further from anywhere.

"Look at this place. It's paradise. I love it," Missy Franklin said.

It is everything you see on a postcard from the Bahamas. Except maybe for the golf cart with the missing windshield, bumping down a partially paved road.

Franklin laughed as she held on tightly.

"This is the start of Spring Break right here," she said.

There is no one around in the island village before 5 a.m. one April morning. Isolated is a growing improbability for this 17-year-old after the fame of five Olympic Medals.

Her dad, Dick Franklin, was at the wheel of the golf cart as another one passed them.

"You are like the mom in the mini-van," Franklin teased.

They were surrounded by water and searching for a pool.

"Right now we are heading to swim workout and that will be about 2 hours," Franklin said.

It is the kind of quiet you cannot find in a city - until Franklin dives in.

"Holy crap!" she squealed. "This water is freezing."

The pool looked out on the ocean as the sail boats mosey by. But, this trip isn't about the scenery or time way.

Bimini is the sound stage for a movie called The Current. It is a documentary that Boulder filmmaker Kurt Miller is making through his nonprofit MakeAHero.org.

It is a documentary about people with physical challenges who learning to scuba dive.

The ocean is the great equalizer. There are no limits or comparisons as the water carries them.

Franklin is the able bodied athlete ambassador for the film. She dives with NCAA Wrestling champion Anthony Robles, who was born without a right leg, and Mallory Weggamann, a gold medal Para Olympic swimmer. She was paralyzed from the waist down after a medical mistake.

"Scuba diving with them is incredible. How can you ever complain or have any negative thoughts when you have these two people next to you," Franklin said. "They are proof that you just can't limit yourself, no matter the situation."

"The fact that they are making a documentary about it is going to be very inspirational to anyone who can watch it," she said.

It is a time of purpose in paradise. Between takes, there is other work to do.

Every morning started with a two hour practice. It required every bit of AP math she took her high school senior year. Franklin showed 9NEWS a handwritten workout sheet with her calculations.

"I have six 33's and twelve 66's. The distances are really funky because the pool is an awkward length."

Dick Franklin watched from a lawn chair pool side. "You still cold, honey?" he asked.

"Oh yes!" she answered.

"Then you are not swimming fast enough," her dad smiled.

Her dad watched her do lap after lap. It has been a favorite Franklin family formula for the last 13 years.

It was a rare, quiet, slow moment. It seemed to magnify how fast it's all gone.

Dick Franklin looked at the rising sun.

"I'll be coming over the building soon," he said.

Every stroke in the water brings the next destination closer: college in California and moving away from home.

"I feel like we really needed his trip there has been so much going on this year. The time with my mom and has been so special," Franklin said.

Read the full article at 9News.

Olympic film captures U.S. athletes' triumph in London
5/1/2013

Missy Franklin won four Olympic gold medals eight months ago but still hasn't watched her performances at the London Games.

"I actually cannot watch it because my adrenaline will be pumping so bad, I will literally get so amped up I'll need to jump in the pool," Franklin said. Which means there better be a pool nearby when Franklin watches the official film of the London Olympics which debuts in U.S. movie theaters on May 30. Tickets and theater information available here.

FIRST: The Story of the London 2012 Olympic Games features the journeys of 12 first-time Olympians from all over the globe as they prepare and compete in London. The documentary, which will be shown at cinemas nationwide in a one-night event, features Franklin, gymnast John Orozco and boxer Queen Underwood.

The documentary chronicles the triumphs of Franklin, boxer Katie Taylor, Ireland's only gold medalist in London, and Kenya's David Rudisha, who won what's been called the greatest 800-meter race of all time.

First also takes viewers through Olympic disappointment. Orozco's journey ended with tears after the U.S. men finished fifth in team finals. He also finished eighth in the all-around.

"Hopefully it teaches that it's not sunshine and rainbows all the time," said Orozco, the U.S. champ. "Things don't always work out like they're planned to but if you keep your goals in sight, stay focused, the sky's the limit. I try to think about the opportunity I will have in the future rather than the missed opportunities I had in the past."

Director Caroline Rowland called Orozco's outlook and optimism profound. "We all have experiences in which our hopes, our dreams don't turn out the way we expect, but for most of us, fortunately, it doesn't happen on an international stage with billions of people watching us on television doing the thing everyone has said we're brilliant at doing," she said. "That for me was real insight into success and failure in elite sport and life."

For decades, Bud Greenspan's work defined the official Olympic film genre until his death in 2010. "His work was extraordinary, so much a part of the history of the Olympic movement," Rowland said. "After he died, the films needed to change. To try to imitate Bud Greenspan was impossible."

Instead, Rowland's pitch to the IOC for her film was a young adult target audience. "It's not a sage or serious document of the Olympic Games," she said. "This film was always intended to be something that gave young people the opportunity to believe that whatever they pursued in life, there is something they can take from the Olympic Games and from the Olympic spirit and values."

All three U.S. athletes featured in First are focused on the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Underwood won her sixth national title earlier this month in the lightweight division after beating featherweight world champion Tiara Brown.

Franklin is finishing classes at Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora, Colo. this week then graduates May 20. Ten days later, Franklin will be on the big screen when First debuts and at the final Grand Prix event of the season in Santa Clara. Nationals follow at the end of June in Indianapolis, then the world championships in Barcelona a month later. On Aug. 23, she leaves for California-Berkeley where she will swim the next two seasons before likely going pro in advance of the 2016 Games.

"I'm so excited," Franklin said about college. "It's scary because it's such a big unknown. I just found out who my roommate is. I literally can't wait because I'm so excited."

Orozco tore his left ACL and meniscus in October during the team's post-Olympics tour and could be back for nationals in July or U.S. championships in August. World championships begin in late September in Belgium.

During his rehab, Orozco, who lives and trains at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, is lifting weights more than ever before. At practices, he's limited to high bar and rings over the pit, some parallel skills above the bar, a little pommel horse but no landings, dismounts or the floor or vault just yet.

After tearing his Achilles tendon in 2010 and missing a substantial amount of competition as a result, he's well aware of the stages of recovery, emotional and physical. "You get angry, you get depressed, then you have to go back into it," he said. "

The break from competition has given him a time to reflect on the last year and his disappointment in London. "What I've learned is that I shouldn't let my fear of failing overpower my desire to succeed and I think that's what happened," Orozco said. "I got to the big stage and thought everything's going perfect, a little too perfect. I started thinking to myself, 'What if it doesn't happen?' I think that really got to me and it showed up in my performance."

And likely on film.

Read the full article at USA Today.

Missy Franklin goes to prom, gets a tattoo ... a fake one!
4/30/2013

Missy Franklin was out all night. She slammed into a few cars. She didn't get to bed until 7 a.m. She woke up with a tattoo. Has America's Olympic sweetheart turned all Reese Witherspoon and gone bad?

Not exactly. It was prom night. She and her date (her "best guy friend") went with the rest of his senior class to the after-prom event at a place called the "Family Sports Center."

"It was so fun. It was a blast," said Franklin, still gushing after just two hours of sleep. After a night of bumper cars and dancing to the music video game DDR, she and her best girlfriend got air brush tattoos … of dolphins.

After four gold medals at the London Olympics, Franklin still is waiting for someone to shake her awake from what she calls a Hannah Montana life. Normal high school kid during the week, perhaps a Hollywood red carpet on the weekend.

Franklin, 17, finishes classes at Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora, Colo. this week then graduates May 20.

Though crazy busy, Franklin has been able to catch a little bit of Ryan Lochte's E! reality show, What Would Ryan Lochte Do?

"It's so Ryan. He's such an incredible, incredible guy," Franklin said. "He loves to relax and have fun. It's so him to be so laid back and not have a care in the world. I love that about him. Some of the things they do on the show are absolutely hilarious. I always get a kick out of when his sisters are giving him dating advice.

"I love Ryan to death. From what I've seen, the show shows him as someone who likes to have fun but someone who is an incredibly hard worker once they get in the pool."

Just like Franklin, though the type of fun she likes to have is much more G-rated.

Her hard work in the pool continues with a busy summer schedule: the final Grand Prix event of the season in Santa Clara the end of May, followed by nationals in Indianapolis the end of June, then the world championships in Barcelona a month later. On Aug. 23, she leaves for California-Berkeley where she will swim the next two seasons before likely going pro in advance of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

"I'm so excited," Franklin said about college. "It's scary because it's such a big unknown. I just found out who my roommate is. I literally can't wait because I'm so excited."

And so perfectly Missy Franklin.

Read the full article in USA Today.

Missy Franklin visits Colorado Capitol
4/29/2013

You’ve got to hand it to aide John Thomas, one of of many folks who lined up in the House and the Senate today to have their picture taken with four-time Olympic gold medalist Missy Frankin, who was honored with a tribute.

Thomas, the aide to Rep. Brian DelGrosso, R-Loveland, told the swimming standout that she was “probably ready for a goofy photo.”

It turns out she was.

Read the full article and see the photos at The Denver Post.

Inside The Life: Missy Franklin Is Interviewed By Tim Morehouse
4/26/2013

Watch the video on YouTube.

All-City 2012-13: Franklin, title winners from Regis Jesuit make up most of All-City Girls Swim Team
4/25/2013

The 2012-13 Aurora Sentinel All-City Girls Swim Team, as determined by performance at the Class 5A state swim meet, includes 10 members of Regis Jesuit’s state championship winning team — including three freshmen and a sophomore — plus Grandview junior standout Madison Dirks.

The benchmark of Aurora, Colorado and world swimming is Missy Franklin, who couldn’t pass up swimming with Regis Jesuit as a senior, just months after winning five medals — including four golds — at the Olympics in London.

The University of California-Berkeley signee went out with a bang. Franklin won championships in all four of her events at the state meet — the 200 yard individual medley and 500 yard freestyle, plus the 200 and 400 freestyle relays — and helped Regis Jesuit claim the ultimate prize, the 5A state title.

Franklin’s illustrious prep career concluded with two team state championships (2009-10, 2012-13), plus eight individual state titles and four relay crowns. She graduates with six individual Colorado state records and also set the national high school independent record in the 200 IM this season with a time of 1 minute, 56.86 seconds.

Marielle Renehan (5th in 100 breaststroke, 200 medley relay), Lindsay Kriz (state championship 400 freestyle relay) and Delaney Lanker (200 medley relay) also represented a strong senior class that was part of four top-3 team finishes at the 5A state meet.

Junior Meggie Chase was a valuable relay swimmer again for Regis Jesuit, which was bolstered by a lot of youth this season.

Sophomore Taylor Wilson had a breakout season in the sprint freestyle events and swam on both championship-winning relays, while three freshmen — Lindsay Painton, McKensi Austin and Amy Lenderink — were key scorers.

Franklin didn’t swim the backstroke at state for the first time, but Painton picked up the slack with a third-place showing. She also had Aurora’s best finish in the 100 freestyle (5th) and swam on the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays.

Austin took 4th in the diving competition — the highest ever state place for a Regis Jesuit girls diver — and Lenderink placed top 16 in two events and swam on the state championship-winning 200 freestyle relay.

Grandview had another outstanding season and finished 9th in a loaded state field.

The Wolves scored in all three relays at state and placed in the top seven in both freestyle relays, both of which included Dirks.

Dirks placed third in both the 200 freestyle and 100 butterfly, recording All-American Consideration times in both events.

Reach Sports Editor Courtney Oakes at sports@aurorasentinel.com or 303-750-7555

2012-13 AURORA SENTINEL ALL-CITY GIRLS SWIM TEAM

200 yard individual medley, 500 yard freestyle: Missy Franklin, Regis Jesuit, sr.**; 100 yard backstroke, 100 yard freestyle: Lindsay Painton, Regis Jesuit, fr.; 50 yard freestyle: Taylor Wilson, Regis Jesuit, soph.; Diving: McKensi Austin, Regis Jesuit, fr.; 200 yard freestyle, 100 yard butterfly: Madison Dirks, Grandview, jr.; 100 yard breaststroke: Marielle Renehan, Regis Jesuit, sr.; RELAYS: 200 yard medley relay: Regis Jesuit (Lindsay Painton, Marielle Renahan, Delaney Lanker, Amy Lenderink); 200 yard freestyle relay: Regis Jesuit (Taylor Wilson, Meggie Chase, Amy Lenderink, Missy Franklin)*; 400 yard freestyle relay: Regis Jesuit (Taylor Wilson, Lindsay Kriz, Lindsay Painton, Missy Franklin)*

* — State champion

Honorable mention: Individuals — Kaylie Breslin, fr., Regis Jesuit (100 butterfly); Lindsay Kriz, sr., Regis Jesuit (200 freestyle/500 freestyle); Delaney Lanker, sr., Regis Jesuit (100 butterfly/100 backstroke); Kianna Lee, sr., Grandview (50 freestyle); Amy Lenderink, fr., Regis Jesuit (50 freestyle, 100 butterfly); Kellyn Toole, soph., Regis Jesuit (diving); Taylor Wilson, soph., Regis Jesuit (100 freestyle); Relays — Grandview 200 medley (Hannah Meehan, Mattie Cassaday, Amanda Matheson, Morgan Ammon); Grandview 200 freestyle (Amanda Matheson, Morgan Ammon, Kianna Lee, Madison Dirks) (tied for 3rd); Grandview 400 freestyle (Mackenzie Ammon, Morgan Ammon, Kianna Lee, Madison Dirks) (7th)

Read the full article in the Aurora Sentinel.

Missy Franklin/Kara Lynn Joyce Film Reaches Donation Goal, Looks To Debut
4/23/2013

PHOENIX, Arizona, April 22. THE swimming documentary "Touch the Wall" has reached its goal of raising $110,000 to continue postproduction on the film, and will now look ahead to a world theatrical debut.

Through the popular Kickstarter website, co-directors Christo Brock and Grant Barbeito set out to raise enough money to continue work on the film, which follows Missy Franklin and Kara Lynn Joyce through their journeys to make the 2012 Olympic swimming team. The deadline to reach the $110,000 goal was 7 p.m. Eastern time Tuesday. On Saturday, the filmmakers reached their goal, and as of today, continue to get donations, with $114,351 in the bank. Instead of simply donating money to the website, visitors would purchase items such as signed shirts or swimming clinics.

Not surprisingly, the filmmakers celebrated with champagne.


"We had a bottle in the cupboard specifically for this occasion," Brock told Swimming World today. "All the support we've received has been wonderful. People are calling us asking how they can promote the film."

If the fundraising goal had not been reached, Brock and Barbeito would not have received any of the money donated, per Kickstarter policy. Now, the two are moving rapidly to get the film completed for a theatrical debut. Where and when the film will first be shown to the public has not been decided yet. With plenty of postproduction items to finish -- acquiring Olympic footage rights, creating graphics, editing -- Brock said the film would likely not be ready until the end of 2013, or early 2014.

In addition to editing the film, finding a distributor will be the next on the list of priorities. The filmmakers are looking for an agency to represent the film and present it to potential theatrical distributors. Having two Olympic stars as the subjects of the film could help, Brock said. Film festivals such as Sundance are not out of the question, either.

Though the Kickstarter campaign is ending Tuesday, the public can still help the film. At the film's official website is a store where items can be bought, and the proceeds will go directly to the film's postproduction.

Read the full article in Swimming World Magazine.

Regis Jesuit's Missy Franklin named Colorado Amateur Athlete of the Year
4/22/2013

DENVER - Olympic Champion and Regis Jesuit High School Senior Missy Franklin was named the 2013 Amateur Athlete of the Year by the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame on Thursday Night.

Franklin won five medals including four gold medals at the 2012 Olympics in London last summer.

She was joined on stage by Denver Broncos Quarterback Peyton Manning who was honored as the Professional Athlete of the Year in Colorado.

Missy will attend the University of California at Berkeley in the fall.

Read the full article and watch the video at 9News.

Filmmakers Luck Out Hitching Wagon To Missy Franklin's Star Years Before Olympic Success
4/22/2013

Making a documentary about Olympic champion swimmer Missy Franklin seems like a no-brainer. Just 17, Franklin was one of the shining stars at the 2012 London Games, winning five medals and quickly garnering millions of fans. Documentarians Christo Brock and Grant Barbeito were well ahead of the curve in betting on her as the winning horse, connecting with the Colorado high schooler more than two years earlier. But, it turns out, the project had as much to do with luck as it did with the veteran filmmakers' foresight and preparation.

"It was kind of happenstance," explains Brock by phone during a morning break from editing. "I like to think that we're smart enough to figure these things out before they get revealed to others, but the reality is you don't always find these stories."

Their forthcoming documentary "Touch the Wall" -- a reference to the finish of a swim race -- offers texture and detail only possible because they discovered the narrative so early. Franklin is the leading lady with U.S. teammate Kara Lynn Joyce, nearly 10 years her elder, playing the supporting role as a bit of a mentor while attempting to make her third Olympics.

The L.A.-based duo, who have worked together on multiple productions for almost a decade, came across Franklin by chance. Barbeito, originally from Colorado where the Franklins live, had a connection to Missy's father, Dick, through a separate project. Before Brock and Barbeito knew it, they were documenting the pursuit of a longstanding dream held by one of America's newest darlings.

The movie promises plenty of unscripted scenes as the viewer follows Missy's journey into the hearts of countless would-be fans and supporters amid access not typically provided -- especially to a person who somehow manages to exceed just impossible expectations.

"Grant and Christo practically lived with us for three years," the 17-year-old Franklin told The New York Times through email. "They went with us everywhere from local little meets to the Olympics. We forgot they were there most of the time, so what they filmed was real moments in all our lives, including swimming. They captured the good and difficult times for all of us."

Just one of the stories that comes out in presenting Missy's ascension to fame is surprisingly the young phenom's aversion to practice early in her career, showing that even incredibly gifted gold medalists need time to build a work ethic and internalize the lessons from those who swam before them. That, of course, is contrasted with glimpses at the fruits of everyone's labors. There is footage of Missy and Kara Lynn getting inked with Olympic ring tattoos after making the American team, and stealth shots of Franklin's parents' reaction in the Olympic audience -- filming was technically banned within the competition grounds -- when Missy captured her first gold medal.

Like Missy's own training regimen toward reaching her supreme goal, however, the two filmmakers have faced their own set of obstacles along the way.

"Funding is always the biggest challenge," says Brock. "We've diverted a lot of our efforts to fundraising that we'd love to just keep focused on making the film, but that's the reality.

In turn, they started a Kickstarter campaign to hopefully maintain their equivalent path to Franklin -- to eventual success: completion and distribution. Brock and Barbeito haven't paid themselves once to this point, operating solely on their own, draining personal bank accounts and maxing out credit cards to afford such shooting necessities as travel to Omaha, Neb., the Florida Keys and the trip to London, as well as repeat visits to Denver, on what Brock calls a "medium-budget film." In the end, it's all with the design of doing one thing, which is sharing Missy's story.

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"This is why you have to be passionate about what you're doing," Brock adds, "because you can't get through those years if you're not getting some sort of payments. You've got to take your payment in the satisfaction of what you're doing."

The supplemental financial support will also help retain a secondary editor for the movie, and offset some of the cost of affording the expensive theatrical rights for music and Olympic footage. Though they remain a bit off the pace needed to receive any funding at all -- Kickstarter requires that a project reach its financial threshold or none of the money is allocated -- Brock remains optimistic they'll hit their mark by the Tuesday deadline.

"We're confident we can rally the troops, and we also feel confident that we can get some more well-funded donors. We're working on that.

"Beyond that," Brock continues of the hurdles in producing the film, "trying to find time with the Franklins. Missy's a teenager and there's a lot of people who ask things of her, and we really didn't want to interfere with her life, or her ability to get where she wanted to go. That was really a challenge because Missy, basically every 15 minutes of her day is accounted for. We would need to talk to her about something that happened, but, she had homework to do."

Brock, from Philadelphia, has a background in sports features and editing, and grew up with plenty of his own athletic heroes, but most of which who ultimately didn't meet the code of desirable moral behavior. He says Missy is different.

"It's so rare that you find someone like Missy who is really, really good at what she does," he explains, "but also really a good person, and that's one of the things that we latched on to very early on in the story.

"I mean, there's countless stories of this woman. Yes, she's young" -- 16 during the bulk of shooting -- "but she has these kinds of values … that are values that we should all have. It's one of the reasons that we can feel so passionate about it, because I feel like she is that sports hero that we could all follow."

From her innate inclination to respond to every single piece of fan mail she receives -- setting the Franklins back thousands of dollars in postage and signed photos -- to taking it upon herself to call each coach, assistant, swimmer and host family at each school that helped during her collegiate recruitment once she finally chose Cal, the film's anecdotes of Missy will flow almost as fast as her world record times in the water.

Brock and Barbeito are targeting the end of the year for their feature-length documentary's debut and plan to have some form of large premiere, following that up with mass distribution. They have high hopes of the final product.

"It's going to entertain and inspire," Brock concludes. "I think it's going to be the seminal swim film. It's going to be swimming's answer to 'Hoop Dreams.'"

Read the full article in Yahoo! Sports.

Ryan Lochte, Missy Franklin, Tyler Clary Help Denver Ask Stephanie to Prom
4/19/2013

MESA, Arizona, April 12. LEAH Smith and Olivia Smoliga are putting a lot of effort into making sure their friend Denver goes to prom with his dream date Stephanie.

The duo took their camera around the Mesa Arena Grand Prix meet, getting video clips of Katie Ledecky, Jessica Hardy, Missy Franklin, Tyler Clary, Conor Dwyer, Katinka Hosszu, Matt McLean, and Ryan Lochte. All of the star swimmers put in their two cents about why Stephanie should say "yes" to Denver!

See the original Tweet from Leah Smith about their fun project.

She said yes, just for the record.

Read the full article in Swimming World Magazine.

Denver Sports Top 9 Moments of 2012
4/19/2013

Missy Franklin is a finalist for the Denver Sports Top 9 Moments of 2012, so now it’s time to get out the vote and garner Regis Jesuit High School support!

Voting is live at Top9Moments.com!

We would love to have school support at the event as well.  General admission tickets are available for purchase for $15 ($16.25 with handling fee) through Top9Moments.com.

We hope to see many Raiders in the audience on May 16, and wish Missy the best of luck in the competition as well!

Missy Franklin Wins AAU’s Sullivan Award As Nation’s Top Amateur Athlete
4/17/2013

Missy Franklin has been named the winner of the 83rd annual Sullivan Award, which is handed out by the Amateur Athletic Union to the world’s top amateur athlete every year.

Franklin won the honor over fellow finalists Liz Brenner, a four-sport athlete at the University of Oregon, and junior weightlifter Darren Barnes.

The award was presented at a ceremony at the AAU Headquarters in Lake Buena Vista, Florida on Saturday. She becomes the 12th swimmer to win the award in its long and prestigious history.

    Ann Curtis 1944
    Don Schollander 1964
    Debbie Meyer 1968
    John Kinsella 1970
    Mark Spitz 1971
    Tim Shaw 1975
    John Naber 1977
    Tracy Caulkins 1978
    Janet Evans 1989
    Michael Phelps 2003
    Jessica Long 2006
    Missy Franklin 2013
Read the full article in SwimSwam.

Matt Grevers, Missy Franklin Say Mesa Arena Grand Prix is Favorite
4/16/2013

PHOENIX, Arizona, April 15. BOTH the city of Mesa and Mesa Aquatics Club deserve a pat on the back for the Grand Prix they hosted this past weekend at the Skyline Aquatic Center.

Fortunately, the world-class athletes racing in the meet didn't mince words expressing their appreciation. Nearly half of the US London Olympic team was in attendance.


"I think this is probably my favorite Grand Prix," said Missy Franklin, as reported by AZ Central's Jeff Metcalfe. "The pool, the facility is unbelievable. It's gorgeous. Just being outdoors gives meets such a different kind of relaxing feel to it. It's nice not to be cooped up. This area in Mesa is just gorgeous, and the hospitality here has been out of this world."

"It's been an incredible meet," said 100 backstroke winner Matt Grevers. "The fans are so great. [...] This is probably the best Grand Prix I've been to. I'm glad Arizona has a Grand Prix and hopefully we can keep it here."

Mesa's Arena Grand Prix marks the first time since 1997 that a Grand Prix meet has been held in Arizona. The Phoenix Swim Club previously hosted Grand Prix meets in 1996 and 97.

Highlights from the meet included Katie Ledecky posting the fastest time in the world this year in the 800 freestyle. She was the standout swimmer on the women's side, winning the 200, 400 and 800 freestyle events. Her 8:20.64 800 free time is the fastest in the world by three seconds, while her 200 and 400 free times rank in the top five.

On the men's side, Tyler Clary tripled, winning the 200 back, 200 fly and 400 IM. Clary is likely to earn selection onto the world championship team in those events and challenge for medals in Barcelona.

Natalie Coughlin also had a breakout swim this weekend in the women's 50 freestyle. The 30 year old posted her first personal best in five years in the event, at a 24.90.

Read the full article in Swimming World Magazine.

Missy Franklin Makes Guest Appearance on WarmDown Show At Arena Grand Prix
4/16/2013

PHOENIX, Arizona, April 12. MISSY Franklin makes a surprise guest appearance on today's WarmDown Show from the Skyline Aquatic Center, as Tiffany Elias and Jeff Commings analyze the second day of competition at the Arena Grand Prix

In Franklin's brief appearance, she talks about her tough 200 free-200 back-50 free triple, which was one of the highlights of the session. Particularly special was Franklin's battle with Katie Ledecky in the 200 freestyle, and how that signals good things for the United States in that event on the international stage. Tyler Clary's 400 IM-200 back double and Nathan Adrian's dominant 50 freestyle win also are discussed in today's show, as is Natalie Coughlin's seemingly successful switch to the sprint freestyles. Be sure to visit SwimmingWorld.TV for video interviews from the Arena Grand Prix!

Read the full article in Swimming World Magazine.

 

Olympian Missy Franklin one of three finalists for prestigious Sullivan Award
4/16/2013

Missy Franklin could build a house to display the array of awards she has won. USA swimmer of the year. FINA world female swimmer of the year. ESPN "SportsCenter" top athlete under 20.

However, the fact she doesn't have the money to buy that house is the reason her next possible award means so much. Franklin, the four-time Olympic gold medalist from Regis Jesuit High School and the Colorado Stars, is a finalist for Tuesday's Sullivan Award, given to America's top amateur athlete.

"Amateur athlete," Franklin said Sunday by phone. "I love that title."

Franklin, 17, could have cashed in her gold for real gold. The endorsement deals and money from competitions would have been in the seven figures. Instead of signing with Madison Avenue, she signed with California to chase NCAA glory and education.

"This award means so much to me just because I placed so much emphasis on being an amateur athlete," Franklin said. "I've given up so much to stay amateur. This is just something that comes with that. It's just an amazing, amazing award. To be nominated with such incredible people, I don't even think I deserve to be in the top three."

She left Monday for Orlando, Fla., where she'll be up for the award with two other finalists: Liz Brenner, who excels in volleyball, softball and basketball at the University of Oregon; and weightlifter Darren Barnes, who set six national records at the 2012 world junior championships.

The other two didn't have the choice Franklin had. Sure, as a pro she would have to train on her own without the team camaraderie that kept her swimming in prep meets after the Olympics. However, if she went pro, she could drive to her private workouts in style and not hoof it through the streets of Berkeley.

"Sometimes I'm driving down the road and see a BMW and think, 'Ha! Must be nice,' " she said with a laugh. "But no, honestly, I'm so happy with everything in my life right now. I don't need anything else. I'm so excited for Berkeley, going to college and swimming and I think that's going to bring me more than a BMW ever could."

Her amateur standing has kept her public persona remarkably normal. She learned who her roommate is at Cal, and she's going to two proms: Regis Jesuit's and Valor Christian's.

All the while, she's training for the world championships in Barcelona, Spain, from July 29-Aug. 4. She has toyed with individual medley races and the 50-meter freestyle in Grand Prix meets but is sticking to her specialties for the worlds: the 100 and 200 backstrokes, both of which she won in the Olympics, and 100 and 200 freestyles, in which she hopes to medal after just missing in the London Games.

She may include the 50 backstroke, which is held at the worlds.

She has become the most dominant 200 backstroker in history with her world record of 2 minutes, 04.06 seconds set in London.

"Records are made to be broken," she said. "I'd love to get a best time this summer. Hopefully, I'll get the record. That's always my big goal when we go to these meets. Just because it happened in the Olympics doesn't mean I can't better it.

"It's a good opportunity. Barcelona is my favorite place that I've been."

The AAU will livestream Tuesday's ceremony at 5:45 p.m. MDT at www.livestream.com/therealaau.

Read the full article in The Denver Post.

VIDEO: Missy Franklin wins 100m free in Mesa - Universal Sports
4/15/2013

Watch the video on YouTube.

A Car Ride to the Meet with Missy and Todd
4/15/2013

Missy Franklin and her coach, Todd Schmitz have an awesome coach/swimmer relationship. This interview showcases just that.

This is from Night 3 of the Mesa Grand Prix (Sponsored by VisitMesa.com). Recaps of both Missy’s races on the night from Braden Keith:

Women’s 100 Back – Final

Teri McKeever has to be absolutely salivating at the prospects of her backstroke group coming up. Not that this is a new story, but between her current freshmen, and her next-year freshman, the Golden Bears went 1-2-3 in the women’s 100 backstroke final.

That was led by Missy Franklin in 1:00.15, and followed by her Olympic counterpart Rachel Bootsma in 1:00.54 and Liz Pelton in 1:00.84. Franklin, who is still training with Todd Schmitz and the Colorado Stars, is probably at a much different spot in her training than Bootsma and Pelton (who are just coming off of their NCAA Championship meet).

Future Georgia Bulldog Olivia Smoliga was 4th in 1:01.67. SMU’s Isabella Arcila completed a 1-5 sweep by teenagers and placed 5th in 1:02.47.

Clara Smiddy won the B-Final in 1:02.41; along with her brother Sam, the Smiddy siblings have had an outstanding meet so far.

Women’s 200 IM – Final

Hungarian Katinka Hosszu has had a great meet, and in this, the last race of 8 (she ended up scratching the 800 free), she may have had her best. She had a great breaststroke leg, to match that of former training partner Stina Gardell, and won in 2:12.68. That’s the fastest that she’s been this early in a long course season in her career (which makes sense because it’s her first chance at not coming right off of NCAA’s).

Hosszu will finish the meet with four runner-up finishes, two victories, a 6th-place finish, and an 8th place finish.

Gardell finished 2nd in 2:13.81, and Caitlin Leverenz was 3rd in 2:13.90. Leverenz had a typically-great breaststroke leg to get back into this race, but couldn’t hold that position on the freestyle leg.

Missy Franklin placed 4th in 2:16.29, and Liz Pelton was 5th in 2:16.68.

Karlee Bispo of Longhorn Aquatics won the B-Final in 2:16.91, pulling away from Alia Atkinson(2:16.91). Bispo looked very smooth on the closing freestyle leg next to Atkinson’s relatively labored freestyle stroke coming home. After a 2:12 at the Austin Grand Prix earlier this year, Bispo should at least final at Nationals this summer, and could challenge for a spot in Barcelona in the 200 IM.

Read the full article and watch a video at SwimSwam.

Missy Franklin embracing fame, process, youth
4/15/2013

MESA, Ariz. – Last month, Missy Franklin crossed yet another item off of her rapidly expanding to-do list by cavorting with dolphins.

About seven months earlier, she did the same while swimming with sharks.

The dolphins were found in the Bahamas, where the 17-year-old from Colorado was taking part in a documentary film to benefit the Make A Hero project.

The sharks she encountered were lurking at the Olympic pool in London, where Franklin became the darling of international swimming by winning four gold medals last summer.

And even though her sport is escorted out of the network-televised limelight and back into the unconditional embrace of its fan base every four years, Missy’s crossover popularity still seems to be escalating. With one of the most infectious personalities to hit the sports world in quite a while, the distance she’s covered in the past year probably should be accessorized by a reality pinch.

“Oh, my gosh ... yes,” Franklin said after competing in three events during Friday night’s finals at the Mesa edition of USA Swimming’s Arena Grand Prix Series. “Like sometimes I wake up and think, ‘Did that just happen?’ It feels like a total dream, having all of these kids out here being so supportive. To have all of these people cheering for me before my race, it’s phenomenal.”

It also could be difficult to finesse this avalanche of fame at such a young age. Being 17 is no hay ride under any circumstances. Mixing the trappings of celebrity and the realization that there’s so much more to do as a swimmer can be daunting.

“It’s not been that much harder,” Franklin said. “The travel is the only thing that’s been a little more difficult. But when I travel, I’m doing the most fun and exciting things.

“One weekend I’ll be at the Golden Globes, and the following Monday I’ll be taking a forensics test.”

Now in the home stretch of her senior year in high school, Franklin’s series of “wow” moments continues to be presided over by those who keep her in emotional and spiritual check.

“My friends, my family, Christ ... all of them,” she said. “I make sure I give all of the glory to the right people. They make sure I’m on top of my schoolwork and taking notes for me when I’m gone. And my parents make sure I’m staying a teenager and just being me.”

Being Missy Franklin includes embracing her Pied Piper-style existence at the Skyline Aquatics Center on a night that ended with a second-place finish in the consolation round of the 50-meter freestyle, another second-place, come-from-ahead result in the 200 free and -- as the world-record holder in the event -- a relative victory cruise in the 200 back.

“I definitely wasn’t concerned with times or places tonight,” she said. “It was more of a training session, competing in three events this morning and tonight. So we’re just getting ready for this summer.”

For the record, this summer’s big-deal event is the World Championships in Barcelona.

“We came out here and raced hard, so (that's) what we were trying to do.”

When it was over, Franklin’s cooldown phase included meeting, greeting and signing autographs for the same type of impressionable tyke she was while idolizing the superstar swimmers who became her teammates last summer.

“That’s why I’m here,” Franklin said when asked if she feels responsible to give back even more than in-pool performance to the sport that’s taking her places she only dreamed of seeing. “People thank me all the time for signing autographs, but I honestly feel that it’s my job.

“To have the power to make people happy by signing a piece of paper ... not many people have that, so I’m blessed and I want to use that.”

But with what might seem like a whirlwind of opportunity before her, the only time Franklin hurries is when she’s in the water. Although she could have been trading in on her success through endorsements and prize money, Franklin has remained an amateur. After prom dates on back-to-back weekends and the World Championships in Barcelona, she’ll start attending classes at Cal-Berkeley.

Franklin, who will swim at Cal for U.S. Olympic team head coach Teri McKeever, plans to compete collegiately for two years.

“I hope to have the opportunity to have this as my job some day,” she said of a professional side of the sport that’s already waiting for her. “But it’s all up to God. I’ll just follow his path.”

The journey and its daily opportunity for progress are considerable motivations.

“So many different ways,” Franklin said when asked how much she can improve after claiming four gold medals and setting a world record at 17. “Mentally and physically ... I have so much to learn, so far to go and so much ahead of me in terms of becoming a better person and a better athlete.”

Read the full article in FOX Sports Arizona.

83rd AAU Sullivan Award
4/15/2013

AAU will be livestreaming the 83rd AAU Sullivan Award tomorrow, April 16 at 5:45 pm MST: http://www.livestream.com/therealaau. Also, they will be live tweeting from the event too @TheRealAAU. Support Missy and check it out!

Olympic swimming champion Missy Franklin wins 100 free at Arena Grand Prix
4/15/2013

MESA, Ariz. — Olympic swimming champions Missy Franklin, Nathan Adrian and Katie Ledecky won races Thursday night in the Arena Grand Prix.

Franklin won the 100-meter freestyle, finishing in 54.27 seconds. Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu was second in 54.60, and fellow Olympic gold medalist Natalie Coughlin followed in 54.61.

“I knew it was going to be a really hard race,” said Franklin, set to swim three events Friday. “I’m thrilled with my time and am really happy where I am right now.”

Breeja Larson, a Mesa native and 2012 Olympian, won the women’s 200 breast in 2:28.03, and

B.J. Johnson took the men’s race in 2:14.51.

Olympian Matt McLean won the 400 free in 3:51.95, Olympian Claire Donahue took the women’s 100 butterfly in 59.58, and Poland’s Marcin Tarczynski won the men’s race in 52.83.

Read the full article in The Washington Post.

Simply put, it's good to be Missy Franklin
4/12/2013

MESA, Ariz. -- Missy Franklin says she's had the "time of her life" twice, just since February. The longer you talk to her, the more you wish you could be her.

She turns 18 in a month and has yet to graduate from high school, but Franklin is at a happy place that few reach in a lifetime. Her 10 major international swimming medals — five each at the Olympics and world championships — made her famous at a young age, but something more profound makes her special.

"You're never going to catch Missy out of the act" of being friendly and engaging, her long-time coach Todd Schmitz said. "She's sincere and genuine and truly cares about you. That's the way Missy is and how she connects with people. She loves coming to meets like this because she gets to meet kids that really were her five years ago."

Franklin embraces rather than endures the demands of stardom — photos, autographs, interviews — at the Arena Grand Prix in Mesa as a small price for what the sport already has given her.

"I think the Grand Prixs are more for social fun instead of actually coming to swim," said Franklin, who won the 100-meter freestyle Thursday night in 54.27 seconds over Hungarian Katinka Hosszu and Natalie Coughlin. "I get so excited to see all my teammates (from national teams). You miss them so much because you spend 24/7 together for weeks at a time, then you don't see each other at all for a couple of months."

Schmitz said Franklin had the advantage of returning to the familiarity of her home and high school in suburban Denver after the London Olympics rather than adapting to college life. She had time to celebrate and accept invitations, like being Fiesta Bowl Parade grand marshal while still getting some quality swimming in with the Colorado Stars and for Regis Jesuit High School, which not surprisingly won the Colorado 5A state title.

Some complained about Franklin returning to the prep pool but they were mostly drowned out by competitors glad for the opportunity to swim against her.

"As soon as I started swimming high school, I realized I just needed to do it for me," Franklin said. "I get so emotional when I talked about it because it was my last season. To end it with a championship was the perfect, perfect way."

Now it's on to the University of California, where Franklin expects to swim for two seasons before likely turning professional 16 months ahead of the 2016 Rio Olympics. Cal, coached by Teri McKeever — who directed the 2012 U.S. Olympic women's team — won NCAA titles in 2011 and '12 and was second this year.

At a Western region meet last month, Franklin swam times that would have won at the NCAA meet over champions who were college seniors.

"I'm just excited to see what I can give to the team in any way and what the team can give to me," Franklin said. "I know having those teammates and Coach Teri is going to be amazing for me. They're going to help me so much in so many different ways. It's a perfect match for me."

Franklin still has two proms to attend, some Advanced Placement tests to take — she's a 4.0 student — and high school graduation in the next six weeks. She came here after eight days in the Bahamas shooting a documentary with former Arizona State wrestler Anthony Robles about helping people with disabilities discover new passions. "We went scuba diving, we swam with dolphins, it was awesome," she said.

Her summer figures to include a trip to Barcelona for the World Championships.

Yes, it's good to be Missy Franklin.

Read the full article at USA Today Sports.

Franklin, Lochte head lineup for Mesa meet
4/10/2013

In what might be the most star-studded swim meet in Arizona history, multi-gold-medalists Ryan Lochte, Missy Franklin, Natalie Coughlin and Matt Grevers headline the lineup of competitors for the Arena Grand Prix meet to be held Thursday through Saturday at Skyline Aquatic Center in Mesa.

The meet, which offers $25,000 in prize money, features 15 U.S. Olympians and is the fourth of six meets in the Arena Grand Prix series.

Nineteen Olympic swimmers are expected to swim in the meet, including gold medalists Dana Vollmer and Nathan Adrian, Katie Ledecky, Anthony Ervin, Elizabeth Beisel, Jessica Hardy, Tyler Clary, Kate Ziegler and Conor Dwyer, plus Arizona Olympians Clark Burckle, Caitlin Leverenz, Christine Magnuson and Breeja Larson.

Franklin, who won four gold medals and one bronze at the London Olympics, is entered in seven events: 50, 100 and 200 freestyle; 100 and 200 backstroke; 100 butterfly and 200 individual medley. Lochte, who had 11 Olympic medals, including five golds, is entered in six: 100 and 200 freestyle; 100 and 200 backstroke; 100 butterfly and 200 IM.

Franklin can expect a strong challenge NCAA champion Elizabeth Pelton in multiple events, but especially the 200 backstroke. Pelton obliterated the NCAA field in an American record time for the 200-yard distance. The two are future teammates at the University of California.

This meet also marks the return of Coughlin, a legendary and wildly popular former Cal  swimmer, who is hoping to show she can skill compete with the kids at age 30.

Meanwhile, a couple of Arizona swimmers will try to steal the spotlight in the breaststroke. NCAA champion Larson of Texas A&M will be competing in front of the local audience -- she graduated from Mountain View High School in Mesa -- and can expect a sprint showdown against Hardy. In the men's competition, Tucson-based Burckle will be out to prove he can compete against the record-setting times put up by training mate Kevin Cordes in last month's NCAA Championships.

Olympic backstroke champion Grevers is another Tucson-based swimmer who bears watching -- for an unusual reason. He and longtime girlfriend and teammate Annie Chandler were married last week in Texas. Grevers, who proposed to Chandler at a Grand Prix meet last year, allegedly is scheduled to compete in a swim cap with the words "Just Married."

Preliminary heats will begin at 9 a.m. each of the three days, with finals starting at 5 p.m. Admission is $10 for the finals, $5 for prelimas and free for ages 8 and younger.

Prior to Saturday night's final, Olympic gold medalists Aaron Peirsol and Janet Evans will compete in a relay even with 23 local swimmers ages 8 to 12 who earned the right to compete based on their commitment to attending practice with their local swim clubs.

The meet will also feature an "Autograph Arena" that is open to the public after Friday night's finals and after both the prelims and finals sessions on Saturday.

Read the full article FOX Sports.

Ryan Lochte, Missy Franklin Highlight Packed Field at Arena Grand Prix (Psych Sheet Incl)
4/8/2013

MESA, Arizona, April 6. OLYMPIC gold medalists Ryan Lochte (Daytona Beach, Fla.), Dana Vollmer (Granbury, Texas), Missy Franklin (Centennial, Colo.) and Nathan Adrian (Bremerton, Wash.) will compete at the Arena Grand Prix at Mesa, which runs from April 11-13 in Mesa, Ariz. The event is the fourth stop of the six-meet 2012-13 Arena Grand Prix Series and will be held at the Skyline Aquatic Center.

Arena Grand Prix - Mesa Psych Sheet

The field features more than 15 additional U.S. Olympians, including Katie Ledecky (Bethesda, Md.), Anthony Ervin (Valencia, Calif.), Elizabeth Beisel (Saunderstown, R.I.), Natalie Coughlin (Vallejo, Calif.), Jessica Hardy (Long Beach, Calif.), Tyler Clary (Riverside, Calif.), Kate Ziegler (Great Falls, Va.), and Conor Dwyer (Winnetka, Ill.). Multiple Olympians with ties to Arizona will also complete in Mesa, such as Matt Grevers (Lake Forrest, Ill.), Clark Burckle (Tucson, Ariz.), Caitlin Leverenz (Tucson, Ariz.), Breeja Larson (Mesa, Ariz.) and Christine Magnuson (Tinley Park, Ill.).

Several members of the U.S. National Team, including Tom Shields (Huntington Beach, Calif.), Elizabeth Pelton (Towson, Md.) and Breeja Larson, are coming off a strong collegiate season having just competed at the 2013 NCAA Championships in March.

Preliminary heats in Mesa will start at 9 a.m. local time Thursday through Saturday and finals will begin at 5 p.m. local time. Children 8 years of age and under are free, while adult tickets are $5 for prelims and $10 for finals.

Viewers at home can catch the action of the Arena Grand Prix via the USA Swimming live webcast or on the Universal Sports Network, which will broadcast the event on April 11 and 12 from 8-9:30 p.m. ET/6-7:30 p.m. PT. Check local listings for channels and times in your area.

The competition in Mesa will also see the launch of the "Arena Grand PrixView Featuring Aaron Peirsol," which offers local youth swimmers, ages 8-12, the chance to compete in a relay event with Olympic gold medalists Aaron Peirsol and Janet Evans. Additionally, the "Autograph Arena" will be open to the public for the second consecutive Grand Prix. Hours of operation are Friday after finals and Saturday after both prelims and finals.

The Arena Grand Prix Series will conclude June 2, 2013 in Santa Clara, Calif. As part of USA Swimming's eight-year partnership with Arena, the Arena Grand Prix Series will offer swimmers the opportunity to take home prize money for top finishes in all individual Olympic-distance events for each meet in the Series. In each event, first-place finishers will receive $500, second-place finishers will earn $300 and swimmers in third place will take home $100. Prize money will be distributed for each meet in the Series.

The Arena Grand Prix Series serves as an opportunity for swimmers to race against some of the best competition in the country as they continue their preparation for the 2013 Phillips 66 National Championships in Indianapolis, Ind., World University Games in Kazan, Russia and the FINA World Championships in Barcelona, Spain.

Read the full article in Swimming World Magazine.

Finish the film of an Olympic champion: Bring Missy to the movies
4/5/2013

DENVER - Missy Franklin is the star of a yet-to-be-completed documentary about how she followed her dreams to becoming a five-time Olympic medal swimmer.
The documentary is called "Touch the Wall" and it follows the teenage Olympian and her training partner, Kara Lynn Joice, starting in 2010. The good fortunes of Missy, Kara, and their coach, Todd Schmitz, are the stories that make up this documentary.

The filmmakers, Grant Barbeito and Christo Brock of Colorado, followed the trio for three years and gathered 400 hours worth of footage. They captured many swimming championships, including Missy's 2012 Colorado state high school competition.

The documentary also shows the swimmers' goofy sides. It follows their personal lives as they hang out with friends and family, do their homework, and shop for high school prom dresses.

The filmmakers did not expect the exhilarating ending to their story, seeing Missy Franklin win four gold medals and one bronze, and Kara finish with four silver medals at the 2012 London Olympic Games.

You can help the filmmakers complete this documentary and bring it to theaters. "Touch the Wall" can be found on Kickstater, a website that is a funding platform for creative projects. People can pledge monetary donations to get production finished.

Read the full article and watch the video at 9News.

Meet Olympic Champion Missy Franklin’s Father
4/3/2013

The video above with Richard Franklin, father of 2012 Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin, is produced by filmmakers Christo Brock and Grant Barbeito, is a reminder that their Touch The Wall Kickstarter campaign is still rolling.

So far they have 377 backers and they’ve raised $40,312, however, with 22 days to go they need to meet their $110,000 goal. 

At SwimSwam, we’ve rubbed shoulders with Christo and Grant  on the road at every major swim meet. While they’re veteran pros at their craft, they’ve also become emotionally invested in swimming. They love the sport. With 400 hours of footage captured, they have the best possible story, but the expense of editing in post production is enormous. The $110,000 goal is crucial to deliver the narrative.

Read the full article and watch the video at SwimSwam.

Missy Franklin earns scuba license for charitable film, calls water the great equalizer
4/3/2013

The “Missy Franklin really is a good person” crusade continues apace. Now that the teen phenom is finished swimming competitively, at least on the high school level, she’s taking to the water for a meaningful awareness campaign.

As reported by Denver TV network KUSA, Franklin recently completed her SCUBA training at the Denver Aquarium. She finished the course alongside best friend Abby Cutler, and was filmed by filmmaker Kurt Miller for his project entitled “The Current”, which aims to raise awareness about how water can serve as a level playing field for people with disabilities.

According to Franklin, she was drawn to the project by her belief that everyone can feel the same under water.

"For water to be such a great way for everyone to be equal," Franklin told KUSA. "As soon as you get down there everyone is exactly the same. It doesn't matter if you have an amputated arm or a leg or you have all four limbs. We are all exactly the same."

While USA Today was quick to note the irony in Franklin claiming that water makes everyone equal (she is a heck of a lot faster than the rest of us, of course), Franklin still said that adjusting to Scuba was a daunting task.

Not that she would be scared away from anything in the water, of course. Given that the charitable foundation was all for a noble aquatic cause, we might see more of Missy underwater in a film nearby soon, even if she’s more likely to surface without a tank on her back the next time she’s on national TV.

Read the full article and watch the video at Yahoo! Sports.

Colorado's women of influence
4/3/2013

In February we asked readers to help us come up with our second annual list of Colorado's most influential women. The response was fantastic, as more than 200 names were submitted for consideration. After looking closely at the nominees' accomplishments from last year, we've put together the following list of 12 women of influence from 2012. As you will see in the snippets that follow, these 12 women were influential in a number of fields, ranging from architecture to education and athletics to education.

Nan Anderson

Nan Anderson is a principal and founder of Andrews & Anderson Architects in Golden. She won the American Institute of Architects' Denver 2012 President's Award, presented to individuals or groups who have made extraordinary contributions in supporting the mission of AIA Denver and local architecture. She was also honored by Colorado Preservation Inc. She was recently elected the AIA Denver chapter's president-elect.

Marcia Bankirer

Marcia Bankirer is the head of the Denver School of Nursing. Bankirer is largely responsible for receiving accreditation for its associate's and bachelor's degree programs by the National League for Nursing Accreditation Commisson in 2012.

Kim Dvorchak

Kim Dvorchak, executive director of the Colorado Juvenile Defender Coalition, led the effort to pass legislation on child offenders in 2012. The Juvenile Justice Direct File bill "improves the system of selecting youth for adult prosecution by providing youth due process; the right to a hearing and judicial review over the decision to remove them from juvenile court," Dvorchak says.

Claudia Folska

Claudia Folska was elected to the board of the Regional Transportation District. Legally blind, Folska, who advocates for making RTD facilities more accessible, earned dual doctorates in 2012 in architecture and planning. She wrote her dissertation on mass transit.

Missy Franklin

Swimming superstar Missy Franklin of Centennial won five medals (four of them gold) at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Her success earned her Swimming World's World Swimmer of the Year and the American Swimmer of the Year Award in 2012. The Regis Jesuit High School senior is going to the University of California, Berkeley, in the fall.

Michelle Howard

Vice Admiral Michelle Howard was the first African-American woman promoted to a three-star rank in the U.S. armed forces when she became a deputy commander of U.S. Fleet Forces. Howard was the winner of the NAACP's 2013 Chairman's Award. She is a native of Aurora.

Deborah Jin

Deborah Jin was a winner of the 2013 L'Oreal-UNESCO for Women in Science Award (chosen in 2012). The adjunct professor of physics at the University of Colorado Boulder and a fellow of the National Institute of Standards and Technology was among five female winners from around the world (and the only one from North America).

Beth Klein

Beth Klein spearheaded the Summit to End Human Trafficking held in January. The Boulder atttorney was named by the Denver Rescue Mission as one of the women in 2012 who "changed the heart of the city." The Colorado-born Klein has recently taken on legal cases against military contractors accused of trafficking crimes abroad. She also wrote Colorado's anti-human trafficking laws.

Rhonda Fields

State Rep. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora, whose own son was killed by gun violence, was the co-sponsor of a bill calling for background checks for private gun sales in the legislature. The bill was signed into law by Gov. John Hickenlooper on March 20. Fields also introduced a measure to have voters decide whether to repeal the death penalty in Colorado, which she later withdrew.

B.J. Nikkel

State Rep B.J. Nikkel of Loveland turned the tide over civil unions in the Colorado legislature when she voted for the bill in the House Judiciary Committee in May 2012. She was the first Republican lawmaker to favor the bill. The Jewish Community Relations Council honored Nikkel with its "legislative appreciation award."

Macrina Scott

Macrina Scott, an 81-year-old Marycrest Franciscan nun, scholar and author, returned to teaching in 2012 after a near-fatal car accident the year before. She founded the Catholic Biblical School of the Archdiocese of Denver and directed it for 20 years. The 22-week course she now teaches is called "From Age-ing to Sage-ing."

Vie Thorgren

Dr. Vie Thorgren is founder and executive director of the Center for Spirituality at Work, the organization behind the Making Choices program at the Denver Women's Correctional Facility. The program reduced the recidivism rate among Colorado women, saving the state $1.2 million in 2012.

Read the full article in The Denver Post.

Catching a Champion Swimmer on Film
4/3/2013

 Of the 400 hours of footage that the independent filmmakers Grant Barbeito and Christo Brock gathered on the swimming champion Missy Franklin and her training partner Kara Lynn Joyce, one scene stands out as their favorite. It was not from any of Franklin’s four gold medal swims at the Olympics, but from the 2012 Colorado state high school championships several months before her breakout performance in London.
Enlarge This Image
Doug Mills/The New York Times

Missy Franklin after winning the gold medal in the women's 100-meter backstroke at the Olympics in London.

Franklin was leaving the pool, a police escort at the ready, when she noticed all the garbage that teams had left behind in the stands. She stopped and began picking up discarded cans and bottles and wrappers, depositing them in the trash. Following her cue, the few swimmers left in the building joined her in cleaning up.

In the filmmaker’s minds, the scene captured Franklin’s gift for inspiring people, not just to be Olympic champions but to be more caring, connected people. Barbeito and Brock began following Franklin in 2010, the year she made her first major international team. They included Joyce, who trained alongside Franklin for a year and also made the 2012 Olympic team, her third.

“Grant and Christo practically lived with us for three years,” Franklin said in an e-mail message. “They went with us everywhere from local little meets to the Olympics. We forgot they were there most of the time, so what they filmed was real moments in all our lives, including swimming. They captured the good and difficult times for all of us.

“I can’t wait to see the premiere to see how they edit all the footage they have of Todd,” she said of her coach, Todd Schmitz, “Kara, me and our friends and families. It will be a true story showing our journey to the Olympics.”

While their cameras were trained on her, Franklin progressed in warp-speed fashion from Olympic hopeful to Olympic star. As her stature soared, her personality never changed, they said.

“Without sounding cheesy,” Barbeito said by phone, “the message I hope people will take away from our film is a future for our athletes as role models.” He added: “I didn’t get into the film because I know swimming, because I didn’t. I got into this story because of who she is.”

Franklin, 17, is the only child of her parents, Dick and D. A., and their close relationship is central to the story, said the filmmakers, who are seeking pledges to finish their documentary, “Touch the Wall,” through Kickstarter, a funding platform for creative projects.

Barbeito and Brock both became first-time parents during the three years they spent around the Franklins. Plenty of tense moments were caught on film. Aside from the stresses connected with trying to make the Olympics, Franklin struggled with whether to turn pro or attend college. She recently committed to Cal.

Brock said the experience had made him more inclined to raise his son, with his wife, as an only child. “This wonderful triangle they have works brilliantly,” he said.

Barbeito said he hoped the film, once completed, would provide clues to what he calls the mystery of celebrity.

“What is that magic,” he said, “that happens that makes someone that much more popular?”

Read the full article in The New York Times.

83rd Annual AAU Sullivan Award Finalists Announced
3/26/2013

Lake Buena Vista, Fla. – (March 25, 2013) – The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) today announced that three finalists have been named for the 2012 James E. Sullivan Award, which honors the nation's outstanding amateur athlete. The Sullivan Award has been presented annually since 1930, and is based on character, leadership and sportsmanship. Notable recipients of the AAU Sullivan Award include: Mark Spitz, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Florence Joyner, Peyton Manning, Michael Phelps, J.J. Reddick, Tim Tebow, and Shawn Johnson.

“I am very excited about the finalist selected for this year’s AAU James E. Sullivan Award,” said Henry Forrest, President of the AAU. “These young women and men are the best and the brightest among the hundreds of thousands of amateur athletes. Not just on the court, in the gym or in the water, these outstanding athletes demonstrate character and leadership in their communities as well. I look forward to meeting the three finalists and congratulating them on their achievements.”

The finalists originated from 15 semifinalists that were each nominated by their sport’s national governing body or university’s athletic department. The winner has been determined through a public voting, accounting for one-third of the votes, as well as voting by the United States National Governing Bodies and Division I Athletic Directors and Sports Information Directors. The winner will be honored at an awards ceremony on Tuesday, April 16th at the AAU National Headquarters in Orlando, Fla.

Finalists for the 2012 James E. Sullivan Award from the AAU:

Darren Barnes
USA Weightlifting
Darren Barnes is a competitive lifter for USA Weightlifting who set six national records at the 2012 World Junior Championships. Most recently, he set two records at the American Open, qualifying him for the 2013 World Junior Championships. While competing competitively, Darren still managed to graduate from high school with a 4.0 GPA.

Liz Brenner
Oregon Volleyball, Basketball, Softball
A three-sport athlete at the University of Oregon, Liz Brenner became Oregon’s first underclassmen volleyball All-American and helped the Ducks to a NCAA runner up finish this past season. She’s also taking her talents to the hardwood and the track to finish up her sophomore year. As a freshman, Liz was an All-Pac-12 Freshman Team volleyball choice and also played basketball and softball.

Missy Franklin
USA Swimming
Missy Franklin left the 2012 Olympics as the most decorated female of the Games from any country or in any sport, earning a total of five medals—four gold and one bronze. She broke Olympic and World records in the 100m and 200m back. Outside of the pool, Missy has worked with the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America and Make-A-Wish Foundation, all while maintaining a 4.0 GPA.

Make sure to FOLLOW AAU on Twitter at @TheRealAAU and LIKE AAU on Facebook at facebook.com/realaau for live coverage of the #AAUSullivanAward on April 16th.  

Read the full article at AAU USA.

An Olympic Thank You! Help Missy Franklin Swim for MS
3/25/2013

As some of our readers may recall, we made a special pair of shoes for Missy Franklin after the Olympics ended last summer. The swimmer and four-time gold medalist said in an interview that she had trouble finding shoes to fit her size 13 feet. Upon hearing this, our seamstresses went to work right away to make a special pair of red, white and shiny blue Merry Janes. You can see photos of the shoes on our original post (as well as a photo of me testing their fit, since I'm the only one in the shop with feet the same size as Missy).

Today, we were excited to receive a special surprise in the mail: Missy sent us a thank you card!

Along with the card was a flyer for Missy's new project. The all-star swimmer is now the ambassador for Swim for MS, a national fundraiser in which volunteers are encouraged to create their own swim challenge while recruiting online donations to support the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA). To date, the organization has already raised more than $228,000. If you enjoy playing in the water and want to turn your pastime into a charity drive, then we encourage you to check out the Swim for MS website.

Read the full article and watch the video at Soft Star Shoes.

Missy Franklin In Vegas for One Drop Clean Water Fundraiser, Meets Up With Michael Phelps
3/25/2013

Missy Franklin, five-time Olympic medalist from the 2012 London Olympics, lights up Las Vegas for One Event for One Drop, a charitable event that raised millions of dollars for the over 1 billion people in the world who don’t have clean water to drink..  (Franklin photo diary below.)

Yesterday morning she spoke at  the Springs Preserve Educational Seminar and Youth Advisory Event.  Father, Richard Franklin, who has executive experience (private and public sector) in eco-strategic design and conservation (Renewable Energy Committee Co-chair, Rocky Mountain Clean Tech Open Cofounder, Clean Launch Incubator Board Member, CORE, Colorado Clean Tech Industry Association, etc.) gave a presentation as well offering depth and insight on the world water plight. Presenters covered many topics, but the most gripping is the simply fact that one child dies every four seconds of contamination and/or water shortage issues. After the event, swimmers from Sandpipers were there and presented Franklin with a t-shirt. As always, Franklin stayed for photos and to sign autographs…for everyone.

Friday evening Franklin dressed in blue and walked the Blue Carpet for the special ONE NIGHT for ONE DROP, presented by Cirque de Soleil, an incredible show (and fundraiser).  Franklin met  up with Olympic swimming icon and  London Olympic teammate, Michael Phelps, before the show.  This morning Franklin was back in the pool training, after which she and Coach Todd Schmitz gave a charitybuzz private swimming lesson.

This is not Franklin’s first foray into charitable swim lessons. Last July, Franklin donated two hours of swim lessons to raise money for the costs to fly the coach and family of fellow Coloradoan Brickelle Bro to the Paralympic Games in London after Bro qualified to represent Team USA.

Read the full article and see photos at SwimSwam.

Is teen skier Mikaela Shiffrin the winter Missy Franklin?
3/25/2013

American teen Mikaela Shiffrin, who last week became the youngest women’s World Cup slalom champ in 39 years, appeared on TODAY Wednesday morning to chat about the world championships, her impressions of Sochi, and what it’s like to be compared to one of the best young Olympians of her generation.

“It’s really an honor to be compared to [Missy Franklin],” Shiffrin said. “She’s so inspiring… It’s really cool to be compared to that. Not as much trying to live up to that as just carrying the torch.”

Shiffrin also admitted to freaking out a bit when Missy tweeted her congratulations after a victory earlier this year.

Mikaela’s incredible sophomore season included four World Cup wins, eight podium finishes, and her first career world championship in the slalom. She’ll hope to follow all that up with a gold medal next February in Sochi as she aims to be one of the rising stars of the U.S. Olympic team.

Read the full article and watch the video at NBC Sports.

Missy Franklin Joins Cast of Film The Current to Help the Disabled
3/22/2013

Bimini will be the backdrop for several days of on-the-water filming for Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin, who will join cast and crew for the  “The Current,” a film focusing on disabled athletes participating in a variety of water sports.

Franklin and her family are expected to arrive by seaplane on Friday, March 29th for several days of shooting, according to Michael Weber, General Manager of the historic Bimini Big Game Club Resort & Marina, host hotel for the cast and crew.

Franklin, a teenage phenom, who took home five medals (four gold’s) from the London Olympic Games, made a national news splash earlier this month when she entertained visitors at the Denver Aquarium with an underwater scuba dance routine.  She was preparing for her upcoming participation in the documentary film in which she will dive with wild dolphins and serve as an ambassador for the Make-a-Hero campaign.

Franklin is also expected to try out the new Bimini Bull Run at-the-dock shark encounter at  the Big Game Club as well as join with the fellow cast for an inspirational talk with local residents and island visitors on Saturday, March 30th from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The Current is being co-directed by Kurt Miller, son of Warren Miller, one of the most respected names in action sports cinematography and Peter Speek.  The new film follows last year’s release of The Movement, which focused on disabled individuals learning how to ski. The Current is a film about disabled learning to overcome their disabilities to become real everyday heroes through watersports. The action will include scuba diving, surfing, snorkeling, kayaking, sailing, stand up paddle boarding as well as diving with whales and dolphins. To view the movie trailer and recent Denver Aquarium appearance, go to http://www.makeahero.org/film-events/the-current/

Disabled athletes joining Franklin in the Bimini segment shoot will be Anthony Robles, who became a NCAA wrestling champion despite being born with one leg, and Mallory Weggemann, London Paralympics gold medalist.  Not part of the Bimini shoot, but also cast for the film are:

* Bethany Hamilton, the inspiration for the movie “Soul Surfer”, the true story of a girl who lost her arm in a shark attack while surfing and returned to the sport through strong faith.  She will be filmed diving with whales.
* Disabled military veteran and Coloradan Jesse Murphree and Rick Finkelstein, a Hollywood executive who was paralyzed in a ski accident in Aspen in 2004.  This duo will be diving with Jean-Michel Cousteau, who will also serve as the narrator for The Current, in Cozumel.

About The Bimini Big Game Club Resort & Marina

The Bimini Big Game Club, a legendary outpost for fishermen and host to numerous major sportfishing tournaments for more than half a century, officially re-opened in 2010 following completion of a $3,500,000 renovation that included all guest rooms and the new Bimini Big Game Bar & Grill. More recently owners have added the Gulfstream Conference Center and Hemingway’s Rum Bar & Social Lounge, a fully outfitted watersports facility and a floating dock to accommodate seaplane service directly to and from the resort. For information on the Big Game Club Resort and Marina go to www.biggameclubbimini.com

About Make a Hero

Make A Hero is creating a series of high quality inspirational films featuring well-known and accomplished disabled athletes and celebrities that grow awareness and generate financial support for individuals with disabilities. We inspire people with disabilities to “get fully engaged in the game of life”, build their confidence and help them regain their mobility and freedom through participation in sports and recreation.

Make A Hero’s first nonprofit film, The Movement is narrated by Robert Redford and Warren Miller and focused on well known disabled skiers including Mike May and Chris Waddell with music by the Foo Fighters, U2 and an original score by Trevor Rabin. It has generated substantial awareness and inspiration for disabled sports for millions of viewers through its national theatrical tour, television airings, film festivals including Sundance and DVD distribution.

Read the full article in SwimSwam.

Missy Franklin and Kara Lynn Joyce Debate Olympic Rings Tattoos
3/21/2013

The video above with Olympic medalist Missy Franklin and Kara Lynn Joyce, produced by filmmakers Christo Brock and Grant Barbeito, is a reminder that their Touch The Wall Kickstarter campaign is still rolling.

So far they have 261 backers and they’ve raised $21,861, however, with 35 days to go they need to meet their $110,000 goal.  (Editor’s Note: within a few hours of this post, Olympic sprint specialist, Jessica Hardy, donated and then tweeted ” I just backed Touch the Wall on @Kickstarter.” Hardy’s donation got the ball rolling again, and an additional $10,000 was donated. Presently Touch the Wall has 275 backers, and they’ve raised $32,746. With 34 days to go, they still need to reach their goal of $110,000.)

At SwimSwam, we’ve rubbed shoulders with Christo and Grant  on the road at every major swim meet. While they’re veteran pros at their craft, they’ve also become emotionally invested in swimming. They love the sport. With 400 hours of footage captured, they have the best possible story, but the expense of editing in post production is enormous. The $110,000 goal is crucial to deliver the narrative.

Go to their Touch The Wall Kickstarter page and donate now. You can be a part of making this great film about two of swimming’s biggest stars.

Read the full article and watch the video at SwimSwam.

Michael Phelps and Missy Franklin to Appear at Special Cirque du Soleil Event
3/21/2013

LAS VEGAS, Nevada, March 20. ON Friday, Olympic champions Michael Phelps and Missy Franklin will take part in the festivities for a special one-time only Cirque du Soleil performance at the Bellagio Resort and Casino to raise money for a special global initiative to make water accessible to everyone on the planet.

The "One Night for One Drop" gala will feature a special blue carpet, which will feature many of the celebrities attending the festivities. In addition to Phelps and Franklin, other guests include:

Singer Jackie Evancho


Actress Pamela Anderson

Magician Criss Angel

Film composer Danny Elfman

Olympic rowing champions Mary Whipple and Erin Cafaro.

The event will be the first in what is hoped to be an annual affair. Cirque du Soleil will close all of its Las Vegas shows on Friday to bring attention to the special "One Night for One Drop" performance that will feature more than 230 resident Cirque du Soleil artists and special performers.

The event takes place on World Water Day, and will focus on education and fundraising efforts to "ensure that water is accessible to all, today and forever." According to the One Drop website, more than 300,000 people worldwide have been helped by the organization.

Franklin's attachment to this cause goes along with her other water-related endeavors that don't involve her collecting multiple medals. She's participating in a documentary called "The Current," which aims to bring to show how swimming in the ocean has helped people with disabilities feel more free and unencumbered by their disability.

As for Phelps, his foundation has been teaching youngsters how to swim in several countries, and his participation in the One Drop event appears to be expanding his charity work.

Read the full article in Swimming World Magazine.

Missy Franklin and Kara Lynn Joyce In the Florida Keys
3/19/2013

The video above with Olympic medalist Missy Franklin and Kara Lynn Joyce, produced by filmmakers Christo Brock and Grant Barbeito, is a reminder that their Touch The Wall Kickstarter campaign is still rolling.

So far they have 249 backers and they’ve raised $21,366, however, with 35 days to go they need to meet their $110,000 goal.

At SwimSwam, we’ve rubbed shoulders with Christo and Grant  on the road at every major swim meet. While they’re veteran pros at their craft, they’ve also become emotionally invested in swimming. They love the sport. With 400 hours of footage captured, they have the best possible story, but the expense of editing in post production is enormous. The $110,000 goal is crucial to deliver the narrative.

Go to their Touch The Wall Kickstarter page and donate now. You can be a part of making this great film about two of swimming’s biggest stars.

Watch the video and read the article at SwimSwam.

Missy Franklin’s Last Short Course Meet Before College
3/19/2013

Missy Franklin had a jam packed weekend at Sectionals in Federal Way Washington. She was just off a couple American Records, but her most memorable swim might surprise you. What shouldn’t surprise you at this point is Missy’s contagiously energetic personality which was on display all weekend long. Not only in her swims but while signing autographs and taking pictures for fans and other swimmers. Her presence at a meet like this is a gift to everyone in attendance at the KING County Aquatic Center. Every time she hit the water she was an example of a what a racer should be, and every time she was asked to sign an autograph or take a picture she was everything we want our super stars to be.

Sitting down with Garrett McCaffrey, Missy talks about her final sectionals meet before college. Her emotions, her highlights, and her plan going forward into what should be another fantastic summer.

Read the full article and watch the video at SwimSwam.

Missy Franklin Swims 4th-Fastest 200 Yard Freestyle Ever on Day 2 of Federal Way Sectional
3/18/2013

Missy Franklin had another big night on a quick Friday evening session at the 2013 Federal Way Sectional meet, winning her only individual race of the night and coming within a second of an American Record for the 2nd time of this meet.

In the women’s 200 free, Franklin swam a 1:41.81 (going out in a 49.69); that was precisely six-tenths of a second away from the fastest-ever 200 yard freestyle swum by Georgia’s Megan Romano.

For their troubles and travels, though, fans were treated to that swim as the fourth-fastest 200 yard freestyle swim ever, behind only Romano and two of Franklin’s fellow Cal bears: Dana Vollmer and Natalie Coughlin. The time also crushed Franklin’s own 17-18 National Age Group Record of 1:42.28 set last year.

(Note: for those curious, Dagny Knutson is the second-best 17-18 ever in 1:42.61, followed by Allison Schmitt in 1:42.90. Those times were both done in the suit-tainted 2009 season.)

Lexie Malazdrewicz of the Jeffco Hurricanes continued a splendid meet to take 2nd in 1:45.72 – her best time by more than a second-and-a-half. That should really fire-up the value of the USC commit who collegeswimming.com has ranked as the #20 recruit in the class of 2013.

Tyler Messerschmidt took his second individual win of the meet, and Meet Record, in the men’s 200 free with a 1:34.17. Just like he did in the 100, this took down a Sectional record from all the way back in 1992: this one belonging to Uger Taner in a 1:35.6. Taner would go on to win a relay gold at the 1994 World Championships as part of the American 400 free relay.

(Another side note: Taner’s oldest child Brooks is already showing good promise as a swimmer. He was a 29.3 in the 50 free last year at only 10 years old.)

Edward Kim from the Bellevue Swim Club took 2nd in 1:36.92, and Thane Maudslien from King was tied for 3rd with Long Gutierrez in 1:37.62. With that swim, the Cal commit Gutierrez Utah LSC State Record by almost a second-and-a-half.

In the women’s 400 IM, Bellevue swimmer Kim Williams won in 4:12.80. She combined a big backstroke leg, with a solid breaststroke, to run away from this field, including runner-up Briana Jurries from Arizona Gold (4:15.50). That’s the number four ranked 400 IM by a 15-year old this season for Williams.

In the men’s 400 IM, BYU swimmer and El Salvadorian Olympian Rafael Alfaro won in 3:50.49.

In the 200 free relays, the Scottsdale Aquatic Club took the men’s relay in 1:19.79. That much was not a big surprise (the timing system erred a litlte bit, so we couldn’t get a good read on the splits of either Messerschmidt of His 14-year old teammate Ryan Hoffer). SAC took both 1st and 2nd in the race.

This time, the women’s team won the 200 free relay as well, including a 22.71 2nd leg from Amy Bilquist. The foursome that included three 15-year olds and one 17-year old were a 1:32.95 for the victory.

That means they bested the Colorado Stars relay that included a 22.01 leadoff from Franklin.

Further down the rankings, Jasmine Mau from the Kamehameha Swim team in Hawaii was a 22.36 on a second leg; her team was 9th overall.

Read the full article in SwimSwam.

Missy Franklin stars at meet in Federal Way
3/18/2013

In a waiting room inside the 2,500-seat Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center on Thursday, four-time Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin had a reality check.

Seated next to her were two future Pac-12 swimmers. One is headed to Stanford. The other is USC-bound. As she looked around at the different Pac-12 flags hanging on the walls, it hit the 17-year-old Franklin that the next time she would be in that room, she would be competing as a college swimmer at California.

"That's just crazy to think about," said Franklin, a high-school senior in Colorado. "Mind-blowing. It's just so exciting, but it's sad too because there are so many good memories."

Franklin and her club team, the Colorado Stars, are in town for the Western Region Section Short Course Championships, a five-day event featuring swimmers from all over the West.

Franklin, who has swam for 11 years with the Stars, entered the second day of the event with her eye on the American record in the 200-yard backstroke. She started off on pace to break the record, but finished .04 seconds behind Elizabeth Pelton's mark with a winning time of 1:48.42.

"I wanted the record bad," Franklin said. "It was hard to be so close, but I know that I'm going to have a million more chances to get it."

She also won the 100-yard feestyle with a personal-best and national-age-group record 47.28 and was the second leg in the 200-yard medley relay. Each time, she stepped off the podium and handed her medals to a little kid in the crowd.

"She has swam lights out," said Todd Schmitz, Franklin's longtime coach with the Colorado Stars.

Franklin captivated the country during the 2012 London Olympics with her four gold medals — she also took home one bronze — and bubbly personality. Only 17, Franklin is considered the next face of swimming after Michael Phelps retired following the London Games.

Yet Franklin had a much more immediate concern in Federal Way on Thursday: The meet marks the final time Franklin will swim with most of her club team before heading off to college.

"That's what really fires her up," Schmitz said. "She loves the team atmosphere. Three weeks ago, when she walked in after high-school state, she was like, 'All right, guys, let's get excited because sections is going to rock.' The other kids looked at each other and were like, 'Let's do this!' "

Schmitz paused.

"Those are the types of little things I'm going to miss the most."

Read the full article in The Seattle Times.

Missy Franklin still making waves after London Olympics
3/15/2013

DENVER - Eight months after she became a household name, Colorado's Missy Franklin is still making waves, from The Tonight Show to an appearance on "Pretty Little Liars."

The Colorado native loves life in the fast lane.

"Nothing can prepare you for what happens after the Olympic games," Franklin told 7NEWS.  "It's been crazy insane, but so much fun.  I wouldn't change it for the world."

She's kind of a big deal, but Franklin turned down the big bucks: a move that allowed her to get back in the pool with her high school teammates, and help Regis Jesuit to a state championship.

"I'm 17 years old, and I don't wanna make swimming my job yet -- something I have a passion for and I love to do," she said. "I want to be an inspiration for people to say it's not about the money.  What I'm gonna get in college swimming for a college team is priceless."

Next year, the Golden girl will do her swimming for the Golden Bears.  Franklin said she knew instantly the University of California, Berkeley  was the perfect fit.

"We didn't even get on campus, got to the hotel and looked at my mom and said, 'Is it bad that I already want to go here?'  She was like,  'No, it's amazing.' "

The plan is to swim two years in college, the turn pro in time for the 2016 Olympic Games.

Franklin has plenty of motivation, courtesy of Michael Phelps.

"He's broken like 56 world records. He looked me and goes,  'Alright, the bar's set.  Lets see what you got.'  i was like, 'All right, challenge accepted.' "

Who in their right mind would bet against her.  The missile is on a mission.

"I doubt it would ever happen, but why not try?" she asked.

Read the full article and watch the video at 7News.

Photos from Missy Franklin emceeing Make-A-Wish Colorado Celebrity Waiters Dinner
3/12/2013

Four-time Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin makes her mistress of ceremonies debut by emceeing Sporting Affair Celebrity Waiters Dinner, which also celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Colorado. Thirty other athletes, including Denver Broncos Ring of Fame member Randy Gradishar and wide receiver Eric Decker, waited tables for the fundraiser held at the Hyatt Regency Convention Center. Read more about Missy Franklin and Eric Decker’s contributions to Make-A-Wish in Joanne Davidson’s RSVP.

View photos at The Denver Post.

Olympian Missy Franklin gets scuba certification for a good cause
3/12/2013

DENVER - It's a fair bet that Cameron Forshee will always remember his 7th birthday. He picked a day at the Denver Aquarium.

"I love looking at all the fish," he said as he pressed his nose to the glass.

He wouldn't have thought to ask to see a scuba diver in honor of turning seven.

But when Cameron recognized the young woman in full scuba gear in the tank, he squealed, "She is Missy Franklin!"

He waved his friends over. "She is famous. She went to the Olympics and she won."

There among the fish and manufactured coral, were five time Olympic medalist Missy Franklin and her best friend Abby Cutler. They were finishing their scuba certification.

"It was really daunting at first we were like, oh my gosh!" Cutler said.

By the second dive, the friends were up at the glass dancing the robot and the worm.

"She's so fun," Cameron laughed. "She is amazing!"

Franklin loved it too.

"They were the cutest kids," Franklin said. "You would put your hand up and they try and put it with you."

It was fun. It was also for a much bigger purpose.

"Our whole mission is to help bring awareness to help people with disabilities, Boulder filmmaker Kurt Miller said.

He has a non-profit organization, makeahero.org.

His latest movie, The Current, is about the freedom water brings to people with disabilities. They will go on scuba diving trips to experience the ocean and what he calls "it's healing power."

These people are heroes already," Miller said. "What we want them to do is motivate other people who may be recently disabled to realize that their lives aren't over."

There is an inspiring cast. Mallory Weggemann was paralyzed at 17 years old. She went on to win gold at the Paralympics games in London. Bethany Hamilton, a professional surfer, survived a shark attack. She lost an arm. Anthony Robles is a NCAA wrestler who competes with one leg. Missy Franklin, joined the project is an athlete ambassador for the movie.

"For water to be such a great way for everyone to equal," Franklin said. "As soon as you get down there everyone is exactly the same. It doesn't matter if you have an amputated arm or a leg or you have all four limbs. We are all exactly the same."

It is a message they hope will have the depth and reach of the water and touch the lives of anyone who will one day see the movie.

To find out more and be part of the Make A Hero team: makeahero.org.

Watch the video and read the article at 9News.

Franklin named Sportswoman of Colorado
3/11/2013

KUSA - Missy Franklin has been named the Sportswoman of Colorado at the 39th annual awards banquet.

Franklin talked with 9NEWS sports anchor Susie Wargin, on stage, about her time competing at the London Olympics and all her time home since.

 Franklin won four gold medals and a bronze. She says the bronze is her favorite because it is the first Olympic medal of her career.

She also competed with her Regis Jesuit High School swim team to win the State Finals.

"It meant the world to me to share that with my sisters," Franklin said.
Sportswomen of Colorado pays tribute to the athletes, the coaches and the mentors who contribute to girl's athletics.

Franklin's mom said the award was a total surprise.

They thought Franklin was there to be a special guest and to hand out awards to so many other outstanding female athletes in Colorado.

This summer, Franklin starts her freshman year at the University of California, Berkeley and begins her NCAA career.

Read the full article at 9News.

Laureus Sportswoman of the Year Nominees: Head to Head
3/8/2013

The Nominees for the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year 2013 are some of the strongest ever. Each are either gold medal champions from the London 2012 Games or world beaters in their respective sports. This year, there’s no doubt it will be a very close-run race to Laureus glory on March 11.

But what do you think? All the Nominees’ top achievements from last year are listed out here in full to help make your decision as simple as possible.

Be sure to write in the comments who you think deserves the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Award and why!

Jessica Ennis (United Kingdom) Athletics

  • Won Heptathlion Olympic gold medal with a British record score of 6,955 pts
  • Her time in the 100 metres hurdles was a new British record and fastest time ever run in a heptathlon
  • European Woman’s Athlete of the Year
  • Completes a full range of medals – world championship in 2009, the world indoor championship and European championship in 2010.

Allyson Felix (United States) Athletics

  • Won the 200 metres Olympic gold,
  • Won gold medal in the 4 x 100 metres
  • Won gold medal in the 4 x 400 metres relay.

Missy Franklin (United States) Swimming

  • Won 100 metres backstroke Olympic gold medal
  • Won 200 metres backstroke Olympic gold medal
  • Won Olympic golds in the 4 x 100 metres medley and the 4 x 200 metres freestyle
  • Won bronze medal in the 4 x 100 metres freestyle.
  • Holds world record in the 200 metres backstroke.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (Jamaica) Athletics

  • Won Olympic 100 metres gold
  • Won Olympic 200 metres silver
  • Won Olympic silver in 4 x 100 metres relay.

Lindsey Vonn (United States) Skiing

  • Won her fourth overall women's World Cup skiing title in five years,
  • Won Downhill, Super G and Combined titles.
  • At the end of the 2011/12 season, she had 53 World Cup wins

Serena Williams (United States) Tennis

  • Won Wimbledon for a fifth time
  • Won US Open for a fourth time
  • Won WTA Championship for a third time
  • Won both Olympic singles and doubles gold medals
  • She dropped only 17 games in six matches in the singles and beat Maria Sharapova 6-0, 6-1 in the final.
  • Only the second player after Steffi Graf to win the so-called Career Golden Grand Slam

Read the full article in Laureus.

Missy Franklin Supports One Drop To Ensure Clean Water Is Accessible to All
3/8/2013

2012 London Olympic 5-time medalist, Missy Franklin, supports One Drop USA, a charity working toward ensuring clean, accessible water to all populations around the world, today and forever!

Via Charitybuzz, Franklin and her Colorado Stars swimming coach, Todd Schmitz, are offering a 30-minute, private swim lesson. Charitybuzz values the swimming lesson at $10,000, but it is probably worth more considering Franklin is “the” female star of swimming globally. Bid now as time is running out! The bidding period closes March 15th, 4pm ET!

This is not Franklin’s first foray into charitable swim lessons. Last July, Franklin donated two hours of swim lessons to raise money for the costs to fly the coach and family of fellow Coloradoan Brickelle Bro to the Paralympic Games in London after Bro qualified to represent Team USA.

What:  Franklin private swim lesson

Why: to benefit One Drop USA, ensuring clean, accessible water to all

Where: Las Vegas, Nevada

When: private lesson is Saturday, March 23, at 10am

How: bid for the Franklin private lesson via Charitybuzz (bidding ends March 15)

Charitybuzz Details

Perfect your paddle during a private 30 minute swim lesson for 1 with Olympic gold medal winner Missy Franklin and Olympic Coach Todd Schmitz at 10 AM on Saturday, March 23 in Las Vegas.

Missy Franklin swam straight into our hearts during the 2012 London Olympics with her easy smile and winning personality. A high schooler, Missy took home bronze in 4×100-meter Freestyle, gold medal in the 100m backstroke, gold in the 4x200m medley relay, gold in the 200m backstroke, gold medal in the 4x100m medley relay. 

One Drop USA

ONE DROP—a non-profit organization established in 2007 by Guy Laliberté, Founder of Cirque du Soleil—strives to ensure that water is accessible to all, today and forever.

In the U.S., ONE DROP is a public charity that undertakes innovative activities in which water plays a central role as a creative force in generating positive, sustainable change worldwide. More specifically, ONE DROP is involved in raising awareness among individuals and communities on water-related issues to convince them of the need to mobilize for universal access to water and urge them to adopt sound habits for managing this precious resource for future generations. In addition, ONE DROP United States is involved in fundraising—a crucial activity if it is to realize its dream of water for all, today and tomorrow.

ONE DROP TEASER VIDEO

Read the full article and watch the video at SwimSwam.

Missy Franklin, David Boudia, Maggie Steffens Up for 2012 Sullivan Award
3/5/2013

PHOENIX, Arizona, March 5. VOTING is officially open for the 2012 Sullivan Award. The general public can now cast their votes online for athletes to progress from the semi-finals round.

Several aquatic athletes are on this year's ballot: Missy Franklin (swimming), David Boudia (diving) and Maggie Steffens (water polo).

The American Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) presents the Sullivan Award to "the outstanding amateur athlete in the United States." The general public nominates athletes who are then reviewed by the Sullivan Award Executive Committee. The Committee subsequently narrows the field to approximately ten semi-finalists.

The award is presented every April to the athlete that best demonstrates characteristics of leadership, character, sportsmanship, and the ideals of amateurism on top of their athletic accomplishments.

The first Sullivan Award was presented in 1930 to golfer Bobby Jones, but numerous swimmers have since received the award:

Ann Curtis (1944) Curtis was both the first swimmer and first female to win the award. She won two gold medals, in the 400 freestyle and 4x100 freestyle relay, at the 1948 London Olympics. She passed away on June 26, 2012, weeks before the 2012 London Games.

Don Schollander (1964) Schollander won four gold medals at the 1964 Olympics, making him the most successful athlete to compete in that year's Games.

Debbie Meyer (1968) Meyer won gold in the 200, 400 and 800 freestyle events at the 1968 Olympic Games and was the first woman to have ever won three individual freestyle swimming gold medals in a single Olympics.

John Kinsella (1970) Kinsella was awarded the Sullivan Award as a high school senior, after winning silver in the 1500 at the 1968 Olympics. He is also the first person to break 16 minutes in the 1500 meter freestyle.

Mark Spitz (1971) Spitz received the Sullivan Award prior to his historic seven gold medals at the 1972 Olympics. He was also named Swimming World Magazine World Swimmer of the Year in 1969, 71 and 72.

Tim Shaw (1975) Shaw set three world records in 1974 in the 200, 400 and 1500 meter freestyles, and was named Swimming World Magazine World Swimmer of the Year in 1974 and 75.

John Naber (1977) Naber won four gold medals at the 1976 Olympic Games, and was the first person to swim a 200 meter backstroke under two minutes.

Tracy Caulkins (1978) Caulkins won five gold medals and one silver at the 1978 World Championships as a 15-year-old.

Janet Evans (1989) Evans won three individual gold medals at the 1988 Olympic Games, and held some of the longest-standing world records in distance freestyle events. She was Swimming World Magazine's female World Swimmer of the Year in 1987, 89 and 1990.

Michael Phelps (2003) It is hard to think of a concise introduction for the best Olympic athlete of all time. However, Phelps did win the Sullivan Award prior to earning his first Olympic medal at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.

Jessica Long (2006) Long was the first Paralympic athlete to win the Sullivan Award. She has competed in the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Paralympic Games and currently holds 13 Paralympic world records.

Divers that have previously won the Sullivan Award are:

Sammy Lee (1953) Lee is the first Asian American to win an Olympic medal for the United States. He won the Sullivan Award while serving in active duty in Korea as part of the U.S. Army Medical Corps.

Patricia McCormick (1956) McCormick, the first female diver to win the Sullivan Award, won gold medals in both diving events at the consecutive 1952 and 56 Olympic Games.

Greg Louganis (1984) Louganis won two gold medals at the 1984 Olympic Games, and then successfully defended his diving titles at the 1988 Games.

A female water polo player has never won the Sullivan Award, although two-time Olympian Betsey Armstrong was a semi-finalist for last year's award (2011). Tim Shaw, the 1975 Sullivan Award winner, won the award based off of his early accomplishments in swimming, but later played on the USA men's water polo team at the 1984 Olympic Games.

Read the full article at Swimming World Magazine.

Missy Franklin & Eric Decker Wait Tables For The Make-A-Wish Foundation
3/4/2013

DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado’s Olympic hero Missy Franklin got all dressed up Thursday night to emcee the Make-A-Wish Celebrity Waiter Dinner, and she brought some help.

Denver Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker knew what he was doing at the event.

“It’s all about the wrist, elbow out, and just have fun,” Decker said. “Everybody comes here for a good cause and to give to a special organization.”

“It’s so awesome for all of them to come out here and dedicate their time to be servers for such an incredible cause,” Franklin said. “I’m excited to see everyone.”

This year’s event was held at the Hyatt Regency at the Colorado Convention Center.

Read the full article and watch the video at CBS Denver.

Pretty Little Liars Puts Missy Franklin Back on the Television
3/4/2013

PHOENIX, Arizona, February 26. ON March 5, Missy Franklin's megawatt smile will be back on the air when the four-time Olympic gold medalist makes a guest appearance on ABC Family's hit series Pretty Little Liars.

The high school senior has already graced home TV screens during the London Olympics, along with appearing on numerous daytime and late-night talk shows following the event. This time, Franklin fans will get to judge her acting chops against actress Shay Mitchell, who plays competitive high school swimmer Emily Fields on the series.

In the scene, Franklin (playing herself) meets Mitchell's character at a coffee shop to talk swimming.... A topic Franklin knows a thing or two about.

"She was great," Mitchell told Celebuzz about Franklin. "She was such a pro when she was on set. She hit her mark every single time and didn't forget her lines once. She was really fun to work with."

That's exactly the kind of review the swimming community expects of Franklin.

"They were so nice, every single one of them," Franklin told Clevver News after filming. "I watched the new season of Pretty Little Liars and I can't watch it the same now because I'm thinking about the camera angles and all this crazy stuff."

We wonder if Franklin will follow in the footsteps of USA Swimming teammate Ryan Lochte, who has already made guest appearances on 90210, 30 Rock, and is working on his own E! reality show "What Would Ryan Lochte Do?"

Read the full article at Swimming World Magazine.

20 QUESTION TUESDAY: MISSY FRANKLIN, PART TWO
3/4/2013

In this second of two parts in a special 20 Question Tuesday, Missy Franklin takes us back to London, and how she came to many conclusions, among them, that no one should ever think finishing in the top 5 in the world is a disappointment!

1. One thing I want to ask you about first is Brickelle Bro, the Paralympian from Colorado who took fifth in the 400 at the Paralympic Games – but before the Olympics, she had to raise some funds, and you stepped up – what did that mean to you?
Missy: When I was in training camp for the Olympics, I heard that Brickelle Bro's neighborhood was hosting a fundraiser to assist her parents to get to London. I couldn't imagine going to the Olympics without my parents being there. It made me so sad. As I couldn't be there to support her, I asked my mom to go and donate a 30-minute private swim lesson from me. I was shocked to hear that it went for $1,750 to 13-year-old Dalton. The second highest bidder was $1,600, so I offered to give 10-year-old Caitlin a lesson too and they agreed! I was so thrilled to be able to assist Brickelle and her family with this $3,350."

2. You had a great Olympics with four golds and a bronze – how did you feel about the fourth place in theMissy Franlkin (medium) 200 free and fifth in the 100 free?
Missy: You know, I had sort of been prepared for that just by the circumstances; Ryan (Lochte) had gotten fourth in the 200 IM, and I had done a press conference by coincidence. Someone asked me a question about how it must’ve been pretty disappointing for Ryan. And I was like, “He just got fourth at the Olympics, I don’t think that’s a disappointment.
 
3. And then it turned around and you had the same question?
Missy: The next day I was fourth in the 200 free, and it was just an act of God to have that work out that way, so of course I was asked the same (laughs) question!
 
4 And what was your answer?
Missy: I just said that of course everyone wants to medal, but to get fourth at the Olympics is a great accomplishment and I was very proud of it. To have it happen the next day, right after Ryan’s, really put me in the right mindset to handle something like that. And you know, even though you want to medal, those fourth and fifth places made me want to focus on developing my freestyle. So it’s something I will learn from, and it will make me better.

5. How about your backstroke at the Games?
Missy: I was so happy. Talking about the backstroke, I can’t even put it into words. For the past couple of years, I have called myself a backstroker, and kind of said that I am a backstroker. But I still consider myself a freestyler, too. I am still way too young to be considered a specialist, and it’s great to be able to swim both of these at competition.

6. You feel like there is improvement in the backstroke?
Missy: There’s always room for improvement in anything, and that is my favorite part of swimming, trying to be perfect. I was happy with my backstroke, and even though I know my freestyle isn’t yet where my backstroke is, I’m pretty happy with my freestyle, too.

7. Which do you work more in practice?
Missy: I work a lot more on my freestyle than my backstroke in practice. And I still have so much time to learn, so that is awesome.

8. So what was London like?
Missy: Oh my gosh, I had the time of my life in London. I had so much fun.

9. How about going in that short turnaround from the 200 free to the 100 back?
Missy: You know, that story, about how it was just 14 minutes, is one of my favorites parts about the Games now! Now whenever I have a double I can laugh and say, “Well, I have had worse.” And it was kind of fun. I always think back to that when things are rough with whatever I am facing and know, “I can handle this. Compared to London, this will be a piece of cake.” It worked out perfectly.

10. Still, that’s a lot of legs to use isn’t it?
Missy: Right, and I know I had to do the best I could to conserve my legs. I knew I had to qualify for the final. It’s hard because, you know, it’s the Olympics, so you don’t conserve anything! To race and be thinking about conserving is so hard because I am such a competitor. But you just to listen to your body, and remember that the 100 back was coming up. What a blessing, to learn so much about myself as an athlete, get the place in the final, and go back out there in the 200 free.

11. I sat with Todd at Golden Goggles, and learned that you two had thought about tweaking the program?
Missy: We had talked about dropping that 200 (free), but a chance to be in the final at the Olympics and maybe medal is just too much to sacrifice in that situation. Yes, it’s a big risk, but it’s also a big reward. And you put in all that training and hard work.

12. So Todd left it up to you?
Missy: He did. He said, “If you want to, scratch it (the 200 free), but I know you can do it.” I said, “You know what, I think I can do it. And I want to.” So I dove into the diving well between races – FINA was very nice to let me do that – and went to the ready room. I was not stressed out at all – I was having so much fun! I just kept smiling, and was excited. I remember Emily Seebohm had broken the Olympic record in the 100 back semifinals, and I was really excited to go out and race her.

13. How did U.S. women’s coach Teri McKeever prepare the women’s team, and what was it like in London with that group?
Missy: There was so much “good” in London, and the city itself – the people, the volunteers, the officials – were just the best you could ever imagine. As far as the team, Teri did an awesome job before the Games started with the women, having previous Olympians tell the rookies about their experiences.

14. What was the takeaway from that talk with the veterans?
Missy: That it is not always perfect, that things will not always workout like you think, but you still do the best you can. I remember hearing about how in Beijing the buses were really crowded, and some swimmers had to rush or change warm-ups. You prepare the best you can, but you have to expect something to come up, and you just deal with it.

15. You said London was special, do you have additional thoughts?
Missy: London was just beautiful. The Village itself was amazing, and the dining hall like a Costco (laughs) on steroids. The rooms and beds were great. The food was from all around the world, and was just amazing. Even the transportation was outstanding.

16. Take us back further, how did you get through Olympic Trials with all that pressure?
Missy: I think I had a lot of mental preparation for Trials. I had heard for so many years that the meet was so high pressured, that I wanted to change that for myself and make it as much fun as possible, like I would have at any other meet. And I did have fun at trials – though I have to admit it’s a huge sigh of relief to see a “1” or a “2” by your name! It’s just such an emotional event.

17. The big deal is, if possible, punching a ticket early in the meet, right?
Missy: I was lucky with the 100 back to have made the team in the first few days, but I still knew there was a lot more I wanted to do – but having made the team, I did not have that same amount of pressure on me. The pressure for me was watching my other friends and teammates and cheering for them, being so excited when they did make it, and being super-supportive but sad if they did not. I think honestly for me, as soon as I made that team, I knew there was lot more I wanted to do but a big part of that was being there for my friends.

18. That time in France – a magical set of circumstances?
Missy: I honestly describe Vichy as a vacation to everyone who asks about it – even though we trained and trained hard. The pool we were at is now one of my favorites ever, this gorgeous outside pool with a huge waterslide that we treated ourselves to at the end of each practice – I probably went down it two to four times after each session. And where we were was perfect, just a block away from all these stores, shopping and French cafes. So we’d go have our workout, and have the rest of the day to relax in the hotel or at these amazing French cafés. It was such a nice, relaxing time between such stressful periods – the Olympics Trials and Olympic Games. I think that really helped everyone recharge their batteries. You recover from Trials, and then you get so excited, but then you get tired of waiting, so by the end of training camp, everyone was really excited for London, and really antsy. I was able to really maintain that relaxed vibe.

19. What about the Call me Maybe video that you and Lauren Perdue, and the entire team, got so much attention for?
Missy: You know, it was so much fun. The entire team had such a great time with that. We literally did that the last two days in Vichy. We were there for at least a week, and we had talked about it the whole time, but then we realized, “We are leaving in two days, we have to start filming!” Two days before we left, we just filmed everything we did. It was so much fun.

20. To have your breakthrough Games with Lochte and Phelps, and Natalie – I mean, I know the pressure must have been huge on you, but still to have the greatest swimmer and athlete in the history of sports, plus two of the other top swimmers in Olympic history, what did that mean to you?
Missy: Oh, it was such a blessing. Being on Olympic team with Natalie and Ryan, and to be on an Olympic team with Michael Phelps? Are you kidding me? It’s like a dream and more. To see Michael at the end, so emotional, as he became the greatest Olympian of all time. Watching how incredible he is. I know what he has done for our sport – and for me – and he has opened it up to all of these people. Because of him, we were able to do what we did. What he did was show the world how great athletes are and how great our sport is. He set the future of swimming on a great path, and everyone – myself very much included – is grateful to Michael, and very proud of him!

Read the full article at USA Swimming.

Kickstarter Campaign to Produce Missy Franklin Touch the Wall Movie
2/28/2013

PHOENIX, Arizona, February 28. MISSY Franklin became a household name after she won five Olympic medals at the London Games, but before the endearing teenager danced her way onto the small screen (to the tune of Call Me Maybe), she was another talented 14-year-old that dreamed of making the US Olympic Team.

Enter Christo Brock and Grant Barbeito. The pair of independent filmmakers noticed Franklin's talent, and began filming her training sessions at the Colorado Stars under coach Todd Schmitz and alongside two-time Olympic Kara Lynn Joyce. After years of filming, and 400 hours of footage, Brock and Barbeito edited their film down to a 90 minute film titled Touch the Wall. They hope to present it to the public in the summer of 2013.

"To my knowledge there has never been a major film about swimming. Also to my knowledge there hasn't been a film in recent history that caught an athletic superstar before she was a superstar," Brock told Swimming World. "Given the unpredictability of stardom, it's often a crapshoot. Armed with some knowledgeable people's opinions, we've had the great fortune to watch Missy become a world wide celebrity."

"[Brock and Barbeito] have been with Missy everywhere....at Home, school, local meets, Grand Prixs, Nationals, Trials, and London," Franklin's mom, DA, told Swimming world. "Perhaps more importantly, they have also been with her at home, at school, with friends, at HS practices and with Stars. They even went to Florida last year for the Stars training camp."

"To be honest, they've been around so much that ALL our guards often came down. They have over 400 hours of filming with honest candid moments. They filmed Kara with Missy, Todd, at home, with family, and later with Dave Marsh. It will be interesting to see what footage they actually use in the film."

Since Brock and Barbeito are independent filmmakers (and want to keep it that way), they need support from the swimming community to help fund Touch The Wall. They started a Kickstarter campaign and have so far raised over $11k, with a goal to reach $110k.

Read the full article in Swimming World Magazine.

Missy Franklin, Amateur Rock Star
2/28/2013

FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- The commotion at the Justin Bieber concert started with whispers. The crowd had discovered another teenage idol in its midst.

"Is that her? Is that Missy Franklin? Yea, I think it is."

In Row 17 of Denver's Pepsi Center, Glyris Renehan heard the noise swelling. She had brought three teenagers, her two daughters and a family guest who happened to be the most recognizable 17-year-old girl in Colorado.

The woman behind them leaned in and asked for autographs. Rivulets of the audience started streaming toward the Olympic champion. Then people began climbing over seats.

Marielle Renehan recognized the drill. Like most of Franklin's teammates at Regis Jesuit high school, she has learned to deal with these swarms.

"I had kids in my lap," Marielle said, "and I had a mom pushing me out of the way."

Glyris Renehan tried to organize a line, while Franklin tried to oblige every request. She works a crowd like a pro.  But she's also a high school student who doesn't want to overwhelm her friends.

"People were trampling my 13-year-old,'' Glyris Renehan said.  "Missy kept apologizing to me, and I said 'What do you have to be sorry for?' She's just so down to earth, she doesn't want to say no to anybody.''

A woman who worked for the Pepsi Center tried to maintain order. Marielle looked at her friend and got a signal to seek more help.  Before the show, the girls had gone backstage to meet Bieber, who struck up a Twitter exchange with Franklin during the London Games. Marielle dug out the cell-phone number of the security worker who had ushered them to that meeting, and texted him.

He took Marielle and Missy away to a suite above the stage, far from the wonderful seats that Marielle's father had arranged through work. Olympic fame had taken them right up next to Bieber, and now it had pushed them farther away.

Seven months after she won four gold medals and a bronze in London, being Missy Franklin remains a full-time adventure, and at least two full-time jobs. Her decision to swim for the University of California and abide by the NCAA's amateurism rules, in addition to costing millions in endorsement income, requires that all the work be done as a Mom-and-Pop operation.

Bins full of mail from around the world took over the Franklin kitchen table a while ago. Friends, including the breeder of their Alaskan Malamute, Ruger, come by to help sort and address the correspondence. Each reply includes a personalized greeting from Missy on an autographed photo.

Fat rolls of stamps have become household staples, like laundry detergent.  The Franklins' bank account takes the hit, shielding Missy's amateurism while she engages her fans like a pro. An agent could reduce the workload, but Article 12.3.1 of the NCAA bylaws prohibits retaining one.

So D.A. Franklin, a medical doctor, stepped away from her practice to manage her daughter's career and savor her final years at home. D.A. left her job almost two years ago and has no idea whether she will ever return.

"We're lucky we could afford for me not to work," she said, "but I'll read some of these [online] comments that say, 'Oh, it must be easy for Missy to stay amateur because her parents have a lot of money.' But we're not rich. They don't know that I worked for the state and that Dick is doing this environmental work now, trying to do his own thing."

They have a comfortable, but hardly lavish, home in Centennial, a Denver suburb, and the wherewithal to travel with their only child to swimming venues in Moscow and Shanghai. But the costs pinch, and D.A.  says that every time Missy checks off the rejection box on an official notice of five-figure prize money, "Dick looks like he's going to be sick.''

In discussions about the quirks and injustices of NCAA amateurism, the effects on female athletes tend to be overlooked, if not outright dismissed. Because their sports are considered non-revenue on the college level, amateurism seems like a natural state for them. The concerns of Division I male basketball and football players, television staples, dominate the conversation.

But Missy Franklin was just mobbed at a concert. She has skills and a personal image valued by the open marketplace. She belongs in any debate about the wisdom of restricting compensation for college athletes.

Her parents, backed by Cal coach Teri McKeever, persuaded her to commit to just two years of collegiate swimming and then turn pro in 2015, when sponsors will target prospective stars of the 2016 Games in Rio.  But it's worth asking what both she and the NCAA lose because she can't afford to compete all four years at Cal. How many Olympic sports might become more prominent in the NCAA if amateurism rules didn't shut out the best athletes? Michael Phelps trained at the University of Michigan but never competed for the school because that choice would have cost him a fortune.

Marketing executives have estimated that, as the most decorated woman at the London Games, Missy could have signed endorsement deals worth anywhere from $1 million to $5 million annually.

After the Olympics, Missy's parents spoke with what they describe as "Fortune 200'' companies and came away only with generalizations about potential deals.

"It was all nebulous, so we didn't have anything to take to Missy,'' her father said. "If you don't have an agent to negotiate for you, you won't know exactly how much you can earn.''

Her parents don't want to pick a fight with the NCAA or start a crusade. They just want to support their daughter's choice not to make swimming her job right now.

"It's wrong to generalize in terms of what the NCAA does right or wrong,'' Dick Franklin said. "Its rules were designed for one thing, and Missy's situation is a total anomaly, dealing with this 17-year-old who's turned down millions of dollars.''

But both parents love sharing good stories, and they agreed to discuss the complications of keeping a young superstar cocooned every day, and of sheltering her from the marketplace in what may be her prime earning years.

It turns out, rejecting money can be hard work. D.A. Franklin couldn't find a way to fend off a Hollywood studio's check for Missy's cameo in a movie, so she sent it to the family accountant with instructions to hold it, uncashed, until it expired.

The couple have just one great qualm about their daughter's fame and its awkward fit with amateurism. It surpasses even the concerns about a career-derailing shoulder injury. Her father wishes he could hire professional security to be with her at all times.

"These things are my biggest nightmare," her father said, holding his smart phone out in front of his face. "When people take pictures, they have to get right up close. Ninety-nine percent of the time, the people are great. But if there's a 45-year-old scruffy guy posing with your 17-year-old daughter, and you think he has mal-intent, you know there's no reaction time."

At the Bieber concert, no one ended up hurt, although the chaos cost Missy and Marielle their fabulous seats. The suite, to their teenage tastes, constituted the opposite of one of the NCAA's forbidden extra benefits. It was a cost of fame.

Glyris Renehan stayed put in Row 17 with her younger daughter, and as the two older girls made their getaway, ran her own kind of interference.

"Everyone was asking 'Where'd she go?'" Renehan said, "and I just said: 'Who? Where did who go?'"

* * *

At the Colorado state swimming championships, as Franklin pulled several body lengths away from the pack in the 200-yard individual medley, a commentator on the association's webcast of the race said: "There definitely has to be an adrenaline rush when you're in the pool with a four-time Olympic champion."

During the awards ceremony, Franklin hugged each of the other finalists, and a man watching on the outskirts of the deck said: "She always handles herself so beautifully.''

It was hard to tell whether these comments flowed naturally or as a little backlash against people who objected to Franklin's decision to compete with her high school team after her five-medal haul in London. A Wall Street Journal story in midseason carried the headline "I Have to Swim Against Her?'' and quoted some rival swimmers as saying that Franklin hogged the glory, records and medals.

Missy admitted that the story hurt her.

Her mother wondered whether she should have discouraged the idea of competing for Regis Jesuit one more time, sparing her the unkindness. D.A. could understand why other parents might be bothered by her daughter's fame swallowing up their daughters' biggest swimming moments. When tickets sold out fast and some people couldn't get their whole families into the state meet last year, the Missy frenzy was blamed. This year the meet organizers tried to set up a system to sell the $7 seats to a pair of family members of each competitor. Glitches arose, but on the day of the finals, a handful of tickets were still for sale at the entrance to the pool.

Fact is, the pool's 1,000-seat capacity has always been a tight fit for everyone who wants to attend, but still, D.A. Franklin understood.  

What never made sense to either parent was the belief that high school swimming was a waste of Missy's time, something she didn't need at all.

"The one formula for Missy being world-class is having fun,'' her father said.

"If she went pro now, she might not do as well,'' her mother said, "because I'm not sure she'd be as happy.''

Her appeal to sponsors might diminish, as well. Missy's star quality transcends her speed. It comes from the almost constant smile, and from the tears she shed as her career at Regis Jesuit ended in a state title.

It comes from the little dances she does in a warm-up pool, the shoulder bop as she walks to the block, the eye contact she always holds, the 6-foot-1 frame that she pulls up to full height, never slouching, the absolute comfort in her body at age 17.  She walks red carpets in makeup and stylish dresses, yet never looks prettier than when her hair is drenched and her face scrubbed with pool water.

As other swimmers approached her for pictures at the state championships, her high school teammates took the camera phones and did their part as if they were born to the task.

"You try to get them to pose in groups so it goes faster,'' Marielle Renehan said. "…To us, she's just Missy, but we know she's a celebrity, too, and we'll do anything we can to support her."

On the bus from the Denver suburbs to Fort Collins for the state meet, the Regis swimmers handed out notes of affirmation to each other, a team tradition. Missy had typed up a long letter, with copies for everyone. It began "Hi beautiful girls" and closed with:

If there is one thing being a senior has taught me, it's that you have to take in every second, every moment because you never know how fast it goes or if that moment will ever come again. So do me a favor, and before you swim, stop, breathe and look around. Look at the pool, the crowd, your team standing behind you cheering, and smile, because we are so blessed. And we have no reason not to smile. And I think God deserves a little smile. I love you all more than you will ever know. Thank you for being my inspirations.

You won't find many swimmers attaching that kind of sentiment to competing in Grand Prix meets. Her payoff for not getting paid may be an antidote to burnout, a common ailment among swimmers as they outgrow precocity.

"You can tell Missy really wants to be a part of something bigger than herself,'' Bert Borgmann, commissioner of the Colorado High School Activities Association, said at the end of the state meet. "I think it means a lot to her.''

Her parents saw it as their job to help her weigh that desire against lifetime financial security. They left the decision up to her, but guided her toward the compromise of two years in NCAA swimming.

"We had to sit down and make sure she knew what the implications were of millions of dollars,'' her father said. "I mean, a 17-year-old doesn't have any idea, Missy doesn't have any idea, of what millions of dollars means. We had to talk to her about this could be your family's security, this could be your children's education, this could mean you never have to go to a job every day. You can do what you want and go have fun with your career.''

She has talked about marine biology or teaching, professions with low starting salaries and not much of a high end.  Both of her parents understand the value of finding a career that means more than a paycheck. Dick Franklin, who played college football in his native Canada and then blew out a knee at a Toronto Argonauts training camp, spent most of his adult life as a high-level executive with companies such as Reebok, Coors and Head Sports. As a scuba diver for 30 years, he said he witnessed the degradation of the ocean floor and wanted to move into "semi-retirement'' environmental work. He is now the executive director of a company that helps cultivate clean-technology entrepreneurs.

"I'm a little bit of a tree-hugger,'' he said.

His wife worked part-time as a consulting physician for the state of Colorado, caring for the developmentally disabled, people who became mentally or physically impaired by an event that occurred before they reached 22. "I just love that population,'' she said.

The first time she and her husband had The Talk, Missy had come back from two European meets with $73,000 in prize money to reject. D.A. and Dick sat her down and explained that D.A.'s job with the state had paid $75,000 that year.

"I was taking on-call on the weekend sometimes, and I'd get calls at 2 in the morning, 3 in the morning. I didn't have to go out. It was all phone calls. But it still was enough to wake me up,'' D.A. said. "I said to her, 'Honey, whatever you do is fine, but that is a lot of money, and you need to understand how much money it is. You remember how hard I worked last year, and you'd get up in the morning and say: 'Mommy did you have call? You look tired.'  And she said 'yes.' I said, 'That's how much you made in four days of swimming.' And she just looked at me.''

They discussed the issue again after London and agreed that a two-year, up-front commitment would be the perfect compromise. Now, she won't be badgered by media wanting to know when she is going pro. The sponsors will be able to set budgets in advance and not jockey for position in the meantime. McKeever and Cal know when her scholarship will become available again.

"It's all very, very, very transparent,'' Dick Franklin said.

If only NCAA regulations offered as much clarity …

* * *        

Before pandemonium at the Bieber concert, there was drama over a Bieber care package. A box full of Justin-related gear arrived at the Franklin home after the London Games, and Missy told the Today Show about the gift. Somehow, in her excitement, she had overlooked the threat of NCAA Bylaw 16.02.03.

ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas, an opponent of amateurism rules, soon tweeted that the NCAA would call the package an illicit extra benefit for a basketball player. (For the record, Bilas also regularly tweeted during the Olympics that Missy should be able to accept as much money as she can earn and still swim in college without forfeiting amateur eligibility.)

The Franklins quickly re-boxed everything and returned it. When the story reached NCAA headquarters, a spokeswoman clarified that Missy could have kept the items because Bieber sends gifts to fans who are not famous amateur athletes.

Starting when Missy was only 15, D.A. Franklin had read and re-read the amateurism bylaws, but they always left questions unanswered. She'd call the NCAA to ask for clarifications, wait awhile on hold, then hear a staffer simply read the relevant passage of the rule book to her. The same passage she had already read dozens of times before calling. She remembers getting clear instructions only once.

When Missy got her license and could drive herself to practice, D.A. called to see if she could use USOC grant money (legitimate for covering expenses) for gas or auto insurance or maybe for … a car itself.  She recalled the exchange with a hint of a smile, suggesting she knew she was pushing a button.

"Oh no," she said in a startled voice, imitating an NCAA staffer awakening at the magic word. "Not a car.''

When the family went to the Fiesta Bowl, which chose Missy its parade grand marshal, the Franklins met NCAA president Mark Emmert and his wife, DeLaine. Emmert, they said, apologized for the Bieber care-package scare. D.A. said that DeLaine listened to her explain the difficulties of getting rules interpretations and talked about consulting with parents on ways to make the NCAA more user-friendly.

"I applaud that," Dick Franklin said, "and we hope D.A.'s experience can be helpful to them."

To streamline the process on her own, D.A. began calling college compliance officers for advice last year.

A restaurant owner near the Franklins' home wanted to throw a dinner in honor of Missy's Olympic triumph. Could they accept?

Answer: Only if the Franklins paid for their three meals.

The producers of the TV show "Pretty Little Liars," one of Missy's favorites, wanted her to make an appearance. She was thrilled. The casting people for "The Internship," a movie starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, also put in a request. 

The answer to this appeared straightforward: The studio could pay her travel expenses, and because Missy was a minor, cover the costs for one of her parents. No other payment would be allowed.

DA made all of that clear to the studios. They came back and said they had to pay Missy. One offered to see if the union would permit a payment to charity instead, but that didn't work, either.

"They said 'We don't care about the NCAA, we have to be in compliance with California labor law,'" D.A. said. "It was the craziest thing I've seen.''

It got nuttier. The studios also said that Missy would need to have a trust established. Why? Because Jackie Coogan, the child actor who later became Uncle Fester in "The Addams Family" lost most of his juvenile earnings to a greedy mother and stepfather. Since 1939, all children working in the industry have needed a trust account named for  Coogan, protecting at least 15 percent of their wages from guardians.

So D.A. set up an account at Wells Fargo, told the studios where to deposit the Coogan trust funds and commenced pretending the money didn't exist. "I haven't looked at a statement," she said, "and I don't even know if they put money in there."

The remaining pay from "Pretty Little Liars'' went toward expenses, while "The Internship'' check went to collect dust at the Franklins' accountant's office.

"It was a couple thousand dollars, and we're never going to cash it," D.A. said. "But we may have to pay taxes on it anyway, because 'The Internship' reported it ."

She trusts that the NCAA will not punish her daughter for this pretzel of a conundrum. She also kept four simple coffee mugs, mailed from a stranger, with pictures and times from each of Missy's gold-medal races printed on them. The usual questions flitted through her head when they arrived, but she decided that anyone would interpret this gift as benign.

Since the Olympic movement junked its amateurism rules in the late '80s and early '90s, the NCAA has become permissive about certain financial rewards for members of Team USA. Athletes can now collect prize money, once unthinkable for both Olympians  and collegians, at designated events each year without sacrificing any eligibility. For Missy Franklin, five Olympic medals yielded just over $200,000. (For more details on financial allowances and prohibitions, click here.)

As always, though, the NCAA does not allow extra benefits to be shuffled off to relatives. So Franklin's parents have to fund their trips to Missy's meets on their own. Attending the 2011 world championships in Shanghai drained $12,000, they said, and London probably twice that. "We haven't even added it up yet,'' D.A. said. "It's too painful."

An exception for the Olympics would have allowed them to accept London travel costs from a Games sponsor, such as Visa, but the Franklins said they didn't want to make their daughter feel beholden to any company before she sits down to negotiate endorsements in 2015. The field, they believe, should be completely open for her and her agent.

So, trying to keep the budget tight, they went to London with some of the worst seats at the Olympic pool, way up in binoculars territory.

"Getting up there was hellish. There was no bathroom, no concessions," Dick Franklin said, starting to laugh. "It was god-awful."

NBC eventually found better seats for the couple, perhaps to spare the cost of hiring a Sherpa to record their reaction during Missy's races.

But if they could change just one thing about the amateurism rules, it wouldn't affect their expenses, D.A. said. They'd want their daughters' rejected checks to go to her favorite charities. "Can you imagine," she said, "if we could tell the people in Charlotte: take that $10,000 and give it to Stand Up for Cancer?"

* * *

At the end of the state championships, with her parents and teammates and Ruger the dog all waiting to go home, Missy still couldn't say no.

She had promised to sign autographs in the rec-center lobby, partly as a way of preventing pool-deck congestion wherever she went during the meet. But the Regis celebration and then a press conference had slowed her down. The team bus was past due to leave for a dinner back in the Denver area. Torn, she apologetically asked her high school coach: "Do you want to go back without me?''

Nick Frasersmith looked at her for a second, then said gently: "No, we don't want to go without you. We'll wait.''

A woman who had escorted her all weekend, Audra, promised to be the bad guy and cut off the autographs when Frasersmith wanted to leave. Missy took her seat and greeted the first fan with a voice hoarse from an imminent cold and endless screaming. A little girl handed a piece of paper to the Olympian and said: "I have a picture of Missy Franklin. Is that you?''

Missy took the photo and held it alongside her face. Yes, indeed, this was the genuine article.

Behind her, her father stood like a sentry. Even with only young girls waiting in line at a familiar place, he seemed mindful of the hazards of rearing an American sweetheart. After London, he and D.A. had told her to drive with her windows up constantly, to make sure that she always checked the back seat of her car before she got into it, and whenever possible ask friends to walk with her to the car.

"Right now, as far as Missy's concerned, the world is a fabulous place. It's been nothing but 17 years of joy,'' Dick Franklin had said earlier, on a walk with Ruger. "Everybody's beautiful. Everything is wonderful, and we hope to keep it that way as a long as we can. Because all that spirit and all that innocence can go away with one bad five-second experience where she feels threatened or gets scared.''

For the second time that day, he vowed to hire a handler as soon as his daughter turns pro.

"I'm probably being overdramatic,'' he said, "but I'm being a father.''

After 15 minutes, the autograph session still had a couple dozen girls in line. Audra asked Frasersmith if he wanted to go, and when he nodded yes, she stepped in. One last group of girls got a picture. One girl walked away muttering disappointment. Her friend, walking alongside, said brightly as they stepped outside into a chilly Colorado night: "Well, at least you got that close to her.''

Read the full article and watch the video at Sports on Earth.

Detailed Q&A with Missy Franklin, World Sportswoman of the Year Nominee
2/28/2013

PHOENIX, Arizona, February 27. MISSY Franklin, nominee for the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Award, recently answered a number of questions posed to her by the Laureus Foundation. Franklin will find out whether or not she has won the award at a ceremony on March 11 in Rio de Janiero, Brazil.

Franklin is nominated for the award alongside a number of talented female athletes, including:
Jessica Ennis (United Kingdom) Athletics -- won Olympic heptathlon gold medal in London


Allyson Felix (United States) Athletics -- won 200m, 4 x 100m and 4 x 400m Olympic gold medals

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (Jamaica) Athletics -- successfully defended her 100m Olympic title

Lindsey Vonn (United States) Skiing -- won fourth overall skiing World Cup in five years

Serena Williams (United States) Tennis -- won Wimbledon, the US Open and two Olympic gold medals

USA Swimming teammate Michael Phelps is nominated for the World Sportsman of the Year. China's Ye Shiwen and France's Yannick Agnel are both candidates for the World Breakthrough of the Year.

In the following Q&A, Missy talks about why she chose swimming as her sport, the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, looking ahead to the 2016 Games and being nominated for World Sportswoman of the Year.

Q: Congratulations on a wonderful year. Was that the best year of your life?
2012 is a year that I will never forget. To have the honor of representing my country, state, school, friends and family was unbelievable. Colorado was going through hard times including devastating forest fires and a senseless mass killing in a movie theatre. Although I could never take the pain away for the victims and their families and friends, I do hope that I was able to represent them well and make them smile a little as that was my goal while swimming at the Olympics last summer.

Q: Did you ever believe before London that you could win four gold medals and a bronze medal at 17 there?
I still can't believe that I won five medals in London. It was a surreal experience. Some nights I take a medal to a quiet dark room and just sit and hold it tightly. I love them all so much, especially my bronze as it was my first Olympic medal.

When I was in first grade at school the teacher asked us to draw a picture about what we wanted to be when we grew up. My drawing showed a stick figure (me) standing on a podium with a medal around my neck. Above my head were Olympic Rings. I smile thinking about that little girl and the big dream for the future. I just never thought it was going to happen when I was 17 years old.

Q: What were your realistic expectations when you went into London?
When I was 12 years old, Coach Todd and I had our usual fall-planning meeting. He asked me what my goals were for the year, and I replied to qualify for the Olympic Trials the next summer. That next year, I qualified in three events and participated in the 2008 Olympic Trials I loved every second of that experience and knew that in 2012 I wanted to compete for a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team. I worked as hard as I could every day leading up to the 2012 Olympic Trials. I was honored to represent my country in the Olympics and wear the American flag on my swim cap!

My expectations going into London were that I would swim my very best. I knew that I had trained as hard as I could and I felt ready to compete. All we can do is our best, so I knew that if I went out there and had the time of my life and swam my heart out every time I entered the pool, I would be happy with the results.

Q: Can you describe how much you enjoyed the Games?
The Olympic Games were unbelievable. Team USA was a very close team and we had so much fun together. We had training camps in both Knoxville, Tenn. and Vichy, France. We worked so hard but I enjoyed every minute of it. Our "Call Me, Maybe" video was an absolute bonding experience for all of us. I smiled throughout the camps and the entire time in London! The experience was perfect.

Q: Can you pick one moment from the two weeks that was your own personal highlight from London -- the one best memory?
A: That is such a hard question, I enjoyed every minute of my time in London. If I had to pick a favorite, I would say it was the 4x100 Medley Relay on the last day of the meet. I was on a relay with Rebecca Soni, Dana Vollmer, and Allison Schmitt. Every team in the ready room was dancing, singing, and laughing. We all knew this was our last race of the 2012 Olympics. Our relay team I left everything in the pool and finished with a gold medal and a new World and American record. It was the absolute perfect way to end the meet, with my wonderful teammates and I being able to celebrate an Olympic Gold for Team USA together.

Q: What was life like in the Olympic Village and away from the pool?
I loved the village. I shared an apartment with seven other girls on the U.S. swim team. Around the village, we mingled with athletes from all different sports and countries. The cafeteria was huge and had stations with food from all over the world. There was even a McDonalds and sushi bar. The cafeteria was where you would see some of the athletes that are huge celebrities. For instance, Usain Bolt walked in one time and everyone stood up and applauded. It was incredible to watch!

Q: You have been nominated for the Laureus Sportswoman of the Year Award -- how pleased would you be to win it?
I am humbled and honored to even be nominated for this Laureus Award. To even be considered in a category with Allyson Felix, Jessica Ennis and all the other amazing nominees, I feel like I'm already a winner. There have been so many amazing female performances in sport this year and to even be included on that list is really an honor in itself.

Q: Why is a Laureus Award so prestigious -- is it because great champions have voted for you, like Mark Spitz, Dawn Fraser, Edwin Moses, Sebastian Coe?
It's always an honor to know that amazing athletes you have respect and admiration for took notice of your performance. When I look at some of the past winners and nominees for the Laureus Awards, it's hard to believe that my name is now on that list. That being said, I also have so much respect for the Laureus organization and the mission of "using the power of sport as a tool for social change." Sports have been such an important part of my life and I understand the positive impact that they can have around the world.

Q: What made you choose swimming in the first place as your sport?
I have always had an affinity for the water. I should have been born a mermaid. I started snorkeling when I was two years old and loved to follow beautiful fish. At five, I asked to join the neighborhood swim team as it looked like so much fun. I always played other sports, but eliminated them one by one to focus more on my swimming. At over 6'1, with size 13 feet, I think my body was designed for swimming. My dad teases me and says that I have my own built-in swim fins. I love it so much and it has made me who I am today.

Q: You have now decided you are going to swim for a college for the next few years and not take prize money or endorsements, can you tell us about that decision?
The decision to maintain my amateur status and compete in high school and college was not an easy one. My parents and I have had many conversations over the last two years and debated the pros and cons. Basically, I'm only seventeen years old and don't feel ready to have swimming be my job. "Team" is very important to me and I enjoyed finishing my senior year of high school swimming with friends. I also didn't want to miss out on the college experience including recruiting trips, living with the other swimmers and getting to know those girls through training and competitions. I truly believe that college teammates may be some of the friends who could become my bridesmaids and godmothers to my children.

In February this year, I swam my final high school meet with my best friends. We were all very emotional, as were our parents. Remarkably, our team stepped up and we won our State Championship! I'm excited to get to know my Cal Bears team and can't wait to start in Berkeley in August this year.

I realize that I may have turned down a sum of money that could have made life easier for my family but I needed to follow my heart and make sure I continue to have fun with my swimming. I really believe The Lord has his plan and I am doing everything I can to follow it in the best ways I know how.

Q: In Rio de Janeiro in 2016 you will still be just 21, what are your targets there?
In 2016 I would again love to make the U.S. Olympic Team and compete in Rio. I will continue to train hard over the next four years and I hope to be in a position to assist my team in both individual events and in relays. I'm so excited to visit Brazil as I hear it is a beautiful country with delightful people.

Q: What else are your life goals and swimming goals over the next few years?
Over the next few years, I plan to make the transition from high school in Colorado to college life in California as easy as possible. I'll miss my parents dearly but I know that we'll talk all the time and we'll see each other as often as we can. I plan to continue to study hard in the classroom while also training hard with my team at Cal Berkeley. It'd be a dream come true to help my college team win a Conference and NCAA Championship.

Q: Do you find training tough to maintain your high standards or is it fun?
I have never felt "burned out" with my swimming. Of course I have been through some tough times. I'm a teenager! I've never considered giving up swimming, though, for even a second! It is my element and I am at peace in the water. I have such a wonderful family and supportive friends and I wouldn't be where I am today without them. They are always there for me and together we all help each other through the tough times. I always think about my goals. I look back on moments when all my sacrifices and hard work have paid off, and I hold on to those moments to remind myself that it is always worth it.

Q: We have many Laureus supporters who are Chinese -- for them could you tell us what you think of Chinese swimmers Sun Yang and Ye Shiwen?
Ye Shiwen and Sun Yang are both great swimmers who had amazing performances in London, setting world records and winning gold medals. I was in Shanghai when Sun Yang broke the men's 1500m free world record and it was incredible. I haven't had the opportunity to get to know either one of them really well since we don't compete in the same events but I look forward to seeing them at international meets and getting to know them! They are both so incredibly talented and every time I see Sun Yang he always smiles and waves, it is so sweet!

Q: And what about the achievements of Michael Phelps in his swimming career -- what can you say about him?
It's almost impossible to put into words what Michael Phelps has done for the sport of swimming, not just for the United States, but for the world. His accomplishments are truly amazing -- I'm only 17 and I can't even imagine winning 22 Olympic medals in my career. It's truly remarkable. I feel blessed that I've had the opportunity to get to know Michael as a friend over the past few years. He's been a great teammate and I'm really going to miss him in the sport, not only as a swimmer but as a teammate and a friend.

Q: You are going to become a role model for a lot of young swimmers now, does that get you excited?
Thank you so much for saying that! My top priority is to be a role model for not just swimmers but all young athletes in all sports. God has given me this wonderful opportunity and I want to make Him, my family and friends, and all my teammates as proud as I can. I have been blessed with so much, and I want to use everything I have been given to inspire and help people in any way that I can!

Q: Who was your role model as a swimmer when you were younger?
Athletically, Natalie Coughlin has been my role model for many years. Natalie is a two-time Olympian with eleven Olympic medals. Besides being an amazing swimmer, she is also a humble woman with an incredible work ethic. Personally, my mom is my inspiration. She had a tough life growing up, but didn't let anything hold her back. She is a physician, and has taken time off to support and assist me again this year. Mom and I are so close and I trust her and can tell her everything.

Q: What are your favorite sports to watch or play other than swimming?
Growing up, I played many sports including soccer, basketball, volleyball and skiing. While I don't participate in all of them anymore, I still love watching all of them. Also, one of my favorite things to this day is dancing! I do it absolutely everywhere, from the pool deck to the grocery store aisles! Denver is a great city for professional sports. I love the professional teams in our city and they all have been very supportive!

Q: Other than your own achievements, what was your favorite sporting moment from 2012?
My favorite sporting moment from 2012 was watching Michael Phelps win his 19th medal and become the most decorated Olympian of all time. To witness that in person is indescribable. Also, watching Michael swim his last competitive race ever was surreal. There were so many emotions all across the team because we were so proud of everything he had accomplished but we were also sad to see him retire from the sport. He has done so much for me and it meant the world that I could be there for such historic moments in his life, and in Olympic history.

Read the full article in Swimming World Magazine.

Missy Franklin Documentary, Touch The Wall, Kickstarter Campaign – Donate Now
2/26/2013

The Kickstarter campaign for Touch The Wall is less than 24 hours in and $2,921 has already been raised. The campaign has 59 days to go, but our guess is you’ll miss out on the opportunity to play a role in the making of this film if you don’t act quickly. (While writing this post, we’ve had to update the number six times already!)

We will continue to keep you updated as more funds are raised and new information is shared.

We all know Missy Franklin, 5-time Olympic medalist from the 2012 London Olympic Games and swimming’s biggest female star, but no one in the swimming community has seen the birth of a swim star, the process and drama of becoming world-class, and ultimately achieving the Olympic dream in a long form documentary film. In sum, this is a first for swimming, and we couldn’t be more excited about the project!

The filmmakers, Christo Brock and Grant Barbeito, have been there every step of the way. At SwimSwam, we’ve rubbed shoulders with them on the road at every major swim meet. While they’re veteran pros at their craft, they’ve also become emotionally invested in swimming. They love the sport. With 400 hours of footage captured, they have the best possible story, but the expense of editing in post production is enormous. The $110,000 goal is crucial to deliver the narrative.

At SwimSwam, we feel this is a big moment for the sport of swimming, a chance to shine, and we hope you’ll participate by donating what you can.

Read the full article at SwimSwam.

PICS: Missy Franklin Guests Stars on Pretty Little Liars, Chats With Shay Mitchell
2/26/2013

Missy Franklin made a splash during the Summer Olympics in London, and now the 17-year-old swimmer has her sights set on Hollywood! The four-time gold medalist makes a guest appearance as herself in the March 5 episode of ABC Family's Pretty Little Liars.

In the episode, competitive high school swimmer Emily Fields (Shay Mitchell) is stunned when Franklin shows up at The Brew coffee shop just to meet her. Once she gains her composure, the Rosewood High School student talks shop with the world-famous athlete.

"They were so nice, every single one of them," Franklin tells Clevver News of series stars Mitchell, Lucy Hale, Ashley Benson and Troian Bellisario. "I watched the new season of Pretty Little Liars and I can't watch it the same now because I'm thinking about the camera angles and all this crazy stuff."

Mitchell, 25, was impressed with Franklin's acting abilities, telling Celebuzz, "She was great. She was such a pro when she was on set. She hit her mark every single time and didn't forget her lines once. She was really fun to work with."

Franklin isn't the only athlete from the 2012 Summer Games to appear on the small screen: swimmer Ryan Lochte is set to star in his own E! reality show, and gymnasts Gabby Douglas and McKayla Maroney have each appeared on their favorite CW shows (The Vampire Diaries and Hart of Dixie, respectively).

Read the full article on US Weekly.

20 QUESTION TUESDAY: MISSY FRANKLIN, PART ONE
2/26/2013

This week and next, 20 Questions will have a two-part edition with one of the best swimmers – and one of the most wonderful young people – in the world. Missy Franklin fills us in on what is going on in her life now, and moving forward into the next exciting chapter of her academic and swimming life. This week, Missy takes us inside her world right now

1. You are heading down – during your school’s spring break – from March 29 to April 6 to do somethingMissy Franklin (medium) very special MakeAHero.org fundraising campaign, which supports “the healing power of the ocean and adaptive water sports.” You will star as “athlete ambassador” with a cast that features, among others, 2012 Paralympic gold medalist Mallory Weggeman. We’ll talk more about other good causes you support in next week’s 20 Questions, but how did you get involved in “The Current” campaign, and why?
Missy: Throughout my life, my Mom has been a physician working exclusively with the disabled. I have spent many hours with her getting to know some of these special people. I've also become friends with some of the Paralympians. Mallory is amazing and I have so much admiration for how she has handled her disability. I am honestly humbled by all the individuals in this film and can't wait to spend time with them. I'm so excited to spend a week with Mallory, meet her family, and swim with the wild dolphins. I'm honored to be the ambassador for this film.

2. Coming back from Orlando, how do you feel swimming wise?
Missy: I feel pretty good after this weekend. I’m definitely (laughs) exhausted. I am happy with my swims, and got some motivation. It was a blast, I had so much fun.

3. You are always so happy and upbeat – how do you keep that smile on all the time?
Missy: Oh my gosh, my smile is always on just because I love to smile!

4. Swimming for your high school, Regis, at state, as a senior – what was that like?
Missy: That state meet was so incredible. I am so lucky to have been a part of the state meet. I have said it many times, it was a hard decision for me (to swim high school this year). I did not want people to think it was for the wrong reasons.

5. What were the reasons?
Missy: To be with the people I care about, and people who care about me, and most importantly, be there for my team and enjoy swimming and representing my school. To be there for one last time with Regis… that’s something I will never get a chance to do again, and it was emotional and exhausting, both, in the most wonderful ways you could imagine.

6. You picked Cal for college – it’s a perfect fit for you, isn’t it?
Missy: Actually, yes, I couldn’t agree (laughs) with you more. I just went with what I felt after I went and visited and met everyone. To be honest, the Bay Area felt like home from the time I got off the plane. That’s what I remember, that feeling of knowing I belonged there.

7. Was it a hard process?
Missy: Absolutely, but it was fun and I am fortunate to have those experiences and meet such amazing people each of the three places I went. I journal a lot, and did after my recruiting trips. I had several reasons to go to each school, but I kept coming back to one reason for Cal: Because I felt like I was supposed to be there.

8. The other schools, you also enjoyed?
Missy: I really did. You know how great Jack Bauerle and the team and program are at Georgia, and I really loved Texas and what Coach Carol Capitani is doing there – it’s such a great team in Austin. So that made it tough to decide. I just had an intuitive feel for Cal.

9. You’ll also be rejoined with a pretty special swimmer from the Olympic team, won’t you?
Missy: Oh my gosh, yes, Natalie! You know, when she made the team at Trials, it was so incredible. That was one where when she had made it, you got so excited for her – and I was personally excited because I got to be on the Olympic team with my role model. Now, she is not only my role model, but I have been on the Olympic team with my idol!
 
10. There’s someone else special there in the water, right?
Missy: A whole bunch of people. But yes, in terms of the Olympics and before that, Dana Vollmer who is just an incredible role model and constant source of inspiration to so many of us. There is no one to compare to her.
 
11. Is there a back story there?
Missy: Dana and I roomed together at 2010 Pan Pacs, and we got really close. I was so young and had no idea what I was doing. We were talking about that just the other day, in fact, because Dana and I are ones who really like to keep the stuffed animals from the (medals) stand that we get. I just really like the memories. Well, there was one of these gray hooded bears at Pan Pacs that I never got, and Dana could tell I wanted one, so she came up to me after and gave it to me, “I want you to have this.” I still have it right now. That means so much to me – the gesture itself was just so thoughtful and considerate.

12. And you are a bit familiar with your college coaches already aren’t you?
Missy: You know, there were so many things to learn and experience making the team and being on it, but one of the greatest things for me personally was also being able to work with all these great coaches before I started the recruiting process; to have that experience beforehand was awesome, and I love ALL of those coaches dearly. I was actually jealous watching the Cal group working with Teri, which I took as another signal that I wanted to go there, and was meant to, plus I saw what her athletes and the entire team meant to her.

13. That must be comforting, feeling good and knowing the coach?
Missy: It is so wonderful, to know both Teri and (assistant coach) Kristen Cunnane, because she is tremendous and a big part of their success, as Teri and anyone else would tell you. That mood the staff set for us in London was so important to us, because it brought us so close together. Plus, Teri is just flat-out hysterical, and Kristen is an unbelievable person too.
 
14. Will you still focus on the backstroke and freestyle – it seems like usually it’s the other way around, that freestyle comes first and then the backstroke?
Missy: Well, if that’s the case and my freestyle comes up like that, it would (laughs) be great. I think we will see what happens. Teri will definitely keep up my freestyle at Cal, and improve my strokes. Working on both of them… I actually get a lot more freestyle than backstroke work at practice. But I still have so much to learn, and the time to learn in it, so it will be awesome.

15. I saw a video of you and Frank Busch dancing and everyone on the team going nuts – what was that about?
Missy: Frank is absolutely incredible, and did such a great job with our team. The entire staff was, in fact, incredible this past summer. There are no athletic performances like we had without a staff that performed like that; they were there the whole time for us with advice and direction, but also to have fun.

16. And the dancing with Frank caught on film came from that?
Missy: Haha! Yes! The training camps were fun, and the thing you were referring to was when we were in Tennessee. The pool in Knoxville was awesome and we had some fun training. Someone who had this huge, beautiful home was very generous to host us, and there was a live band. Well, everyone was telling me I had to dance, so I made Frank dance – and did you see how he could bust a move! That was just great. That was just one of the many, many great moments of what this team, and the experiences with that incredible staff, were about for us all. A lot of great memories with a lot of great people.

17. The practices were intense, yet so was the relaxing – in that you all really enjoyed each other – is there a lesson there?
Missy: Absolutely, yes: Because of that, I really understand now why it’s so important to be happy, supportive and comfortable on a team

18. Your dress at Golden Goggles, was made by your cousin – how fun was that?
Missy: It was the best. She made it. She was freaking me out. That morning, she was like, “I just have a couple more things to do, and have to finish sewing some stuff.” But it turned out great, and it was so nice of her. Plus, she did a great job.
 
19. What did you think of Golden Goggles?
Missy: The whole night was perfect. Golden Goggles is so much fun because you get to see everyone again, these incredible people who mean so much to me and I am so fortunate to learn from all of them, my friends, and have them in my life. I just love right after a big meet like that, to be able to come together again and catch up, and listen to everyone’s stories.

20. You all from that relay – Dana, Schmitty, Rebecca – holding hands before the award, and being so happy for Allison when she won something – that was the most real affection and care in the world among the group, wasn’t it?
Missy: It really was, but it really is that way among this whole team, with these great friendships and relationships that will last a lifetime. Like Dana said, the team really did call our relay the “Smiley Crew,” and nothing had changed at all – we were all smiling again at Golden Goggles. Whenever we’re around each other, we just can’t help but be that happy!

Next week, Missy breaks down what happened at Trials and takes us through a couple of her more memorable swim moments in London in Part II.

Read the full article at USA Swimming.

Photos of Missy Franklin on Pretty Little Liars
2/22/2013

We have the photo stills from Missy Franklin’s upcoming Pretty Little Liars episode. The episode will be called “Will the Circle Be Unbroken?” and will air on March 5. Missy will play as herself in the episode, surprising Emily, while Spencer is away at a mental health hospital for help. Can everyone survive and will A do more damage this episode? That will remain to be seen, but at least you can view the photos from behind the scenes and stills from Missy’s visit with the cast on the series down below.

I love how so many of the Olympic medalist are getting all of these TV appearances as of late. It seems like their fame has launched them to be more than just on Wheaties boxes, but also as American icons. In fact, Missy would be a prime example of that since Justin Bieber has been more than friendly with her. And she certainly hasn’t been the only one of the former Olympic stars who has found themselves on TV series this past year, either. It just seems like a new, additional bonus for all of them, right?

How do you like Missy getting all of these chances to make guest starring roles this past year? It was nice, but I don’t think anybody expected anything less for them. However, with that being said I do think we might be able to expect for this craze to die down later on this year. That seems to be the usual way that it works and I expect nothing less than that at the very least. It sucks for the winners, but they have to make room for newer ones and they will be considered old news pretty soon. So hopefully Missy has plans to keep herself busy once the guest spots disappear.

Read the full article and view photos on BSC Kids.

The Teammates
2/22/2013

The girls wear their tangled wet hair twisted into buns. The buns are practical — the best way to stuff long tresses beneath a swim cap — but also their style, the same way their cherry-red team parkas are practical but also their style. They put their hair up and then take it down, sometimes with an abrupt, inexplicable purposefulness. Maybe it just gives them something to do. There is a lot of time to kill at a high school swim meet.

They sit on a long metal bench or on damp towels on the floor, their clothes and bags strewn around them. They eat snacks, massage each other's shoulders, and tend to their iPhones. They do not pay any special attention to Missy Franklin, who slouches at the end of the bench. She and a friend are talking, their heads tucked toward each other. Her bun is as high and as messy as the rest.

The blast of the starting horn rouses the team, and suddenly everybody is focused on the eight swimmers in the water. The girls are on their feet, screaming cries of a stunning pitch and duration, the kinds of shrieks that only kids are capable of. They are desperate. They clap their hands and push at the air, as if they could propel their teammates through the water toward the wall. The Regis Jesuit High School swim team badly wants to win this meet against its rival, Cherry Creek. It's Senior Night, the last home meet of the season, and besides there's a little bad blood between the teams today. Cherry Creek was the dominant team in Colorado high school swimming until Missy Franklin came along. It hasn't taken losing to the Franklin-led Regis Jesuit team so gracefully, and had in fact grumbled to a reporter in that morning's Wall Street Journal that getting beaten by an Olympian was not fun and perhaps not fair. "We were fired up before we knew about the article," a Regis Jesuit senior, Abby Cutler, tells me after the race, "and we were just 10 times more fired up afterward." The Regis Jesuit swimmers certainly seem intense, their bodies pitched toward the pool, their arms waving, their screams almost feral. The sound hangs in the hot, thick, chlorinated air once the swimmers' hands hit the wall, and then it disappears. The race is over. Hugs are exchanged, and then the attention on the team's bench disintegrates, and the girls are back to their snacks, their gossip, their hair.

Some of them wrap towels around their waists or put on T-shirts and running shorts; others don't bother. They wear team suits, black with pinkish-red patches that may be flowers or smudges or small explosions, with thin crisscrossing straps. The cut manages to unflatter every body type, whether tall, short, stocky, or thin. Anywhere else, wearing anything else, they would appear awkward. But not here, not at their pool, not in the small inflatable dome they call "the bubble." They look at home.

You might think they would look aware of the spectators crammed into the bleachers on the other side of the pool, or the photographers and cameras clustered by the scorer's table. The bleachers are overflowing, people were turned from the door, and it's not exactly common for there to be a media section at a high school girls' swim meet. But the girls are preoccupied, and they are not fazed. They are used to being notable for who they are not. For more than a year, they have been shadowed by reporters at the pool, at school, and at team dinners. They have seen themselves on TV and in newspapers, visible in the background or next to their famous friend. She is Missy Franklin, Missy the Missile, Little Miss Sunshine, the best swimmer in the world. They are Franklin's teammates on the Regis Jesuit High School swim team, if they are identified at all.

When I picked up my rental car at the airport in Denver, the man behind the counter asked me why I was in town. "Missy," I answered. No other words needed, and the guy — enormous, bald, African American — was not surprised. He nodded. "I was just talking about Missy the other day," he said. "If I were a high school swimmer, I'd quit." I laughed and said I would, too. But that was before I entered the bubble.

T his meet against Cherry Creek is the last time Franklin will compete at home. She does not swim in all of Regis Jesuit's meets. Before the season began there had been some question of whether she'd swim for her high school at all. After she won four gold medals at the Olympics, it was hard to believe that high school, much less high school swimming, could mean much to her anymore. But after she decided to turn down millions of dollars1 so she could swim for the University of California, Berkeley, she decided to swim her senior year at Regis Jesuit. She has been on this team for four years; these girls are her teammates and her friends. So there she is, sitting on the end of the long bench, or standing behind the starting blocks, her smile so big you can almost see her molars, even at a distance. She drapes her long arms around a teammate. She bends backward and as she laughs, she clutches at her hands as if to loosen or to warm them.

Franklin is easy to spot. She is 6-foot-1. Her feet are flippers, size 13. When she leans down to grab the starting block for her first event, the 200-yard freestyle, her triceps pop out like rope around a solid pole. After she dives, she becomes a dark streak under water. By the time she surfaces, the race is more or less over. She seems to swim in a shorter pool. Water flows smoothly over the slopes of her body. Her strokes are slow and deliberate, almost unathletic, nothing like the hectic, splashy crawls of the girls in the other lanes. She wins the race by nearly 11 seconds — and this is no big deal; she is capable of a much faster time. (She missed a medal in London in the 200-meter freestyle by .01 seconds, the one disappointment of her Olympics. She came away with five medals, two world records, and an additional American record.)

In professional shots or photos of her on a red carpet, Franklin has a striking, old-fashioned beauty. Her translucent skin and chestnut hair, her long, strong face, and her large, deep-set eyes remind me of a 19th-century heroine, or one of those Twilight vampires. She has an aura that some famous people have, and also some children: a way of laughing and smiling and calling attention to themselves without seeming showy. It makes her look ageless sometimes, but not now. In the bubble, her skin is pink in patches, and her team parka is shapeless, and she is yawning. She looks like the others, only bigger.

While she waits for her race she gyrates her shoulders and hips and dances. She claps, cheers, and checks her phone. She kisses people on the tops of their heads and strokes their hair. "She is just one of us. When she comes, it's like nothing changes," says Cutler. "She's part of our team, whether she's practicing with us all the time or not. No, nothing really changes. She's just one of us."

Half an hour after the meet ends, Franklin is still down by the diving board, even though I've been told she would leave directly to go to practice. But the ban on interviews doesn't seem to extend to spectators, because they are clustered around her, wanting her autograph, wanting a picture, wanting to touch her. She smiles and obliges everyone. A cop waits in the little anteroom between the bubble and the locker rooms to walk her to her car.

The pool facility at Regis Jesuit High School, a Catholic school in Aurora, Colorado, is sunk into a small hill next to the parking lot. The walls are inflatable. The deck has a surface like a sidewalk, and there isn't much of it, only room for a few rows of bleachers for spectators on one side and a bench for the home team on the other. During meets when Franklin is swimming, the volume and pitch of the screaming can blow out eardrums, but when she's not there, it's pretty dead inside, and before 5 a.m., when the swimmers arrive for the first of two daily practices, it's dark. The thin mountain air is cold.

Last December, Delaney Lanker, one of the team's seniors, wrote a story in the online school paper about swimming for Regis Jesuit. "Practices are long and hard and sometimes boring but there are some perks to having to be up in the morning," she wrote. "We always get the best parking spots and are the first in the lunch line for breakfast and are never late for school. No matter how hard we try, the smell of chlorine is permanently ingrained on our incredibly dry skin." Sounds awesome. "Constantly you will hear swimmers complaining about how much they hate it and everyone asks us why we don't just quit. The reason? Well, we really can't. It's a part of our life, it's part of who we are."

Usually Franklin is somewhere else. She's at practice with her club team, the Colorado Stars, or at a meet in Europe, or in Phoenix, performing her duties as grand marshal of the Fiesta Bowl. She's in Los Angeles at the Golden Globes, or in New York at Glamour's Women of the Year awards.

Franklin's longtime teammate Lanker is accustomed to the attention. When asked about Franklin, Lanker shrugs, a short jerk of her powerful shoulder. "I've known her since she was 10," she says. "Missy to me isn't just a world-class swimmer." Lanker has been on Franklin's club team since they were kids. She is a good swimmer — one of the better high school butterfly racers in Colorado — but she has had to realize her limitations against Franklin's limitless potential. "Missy has always been fast. She's always been tall," says Lanker, who stands only 5 feet.

"When I was younger," she says, "I was always like, 'I'm going to beat Missy! I'm going to beat her in the 100 butterfly for as long as I can.' That was my goal, to keep beating her for as long as I could. She got to her own level." You have to think this wouldn't be easy, learning to lose and then losing all the time. It's not that Lanker doesn't want to win. She had pulled out a tight win in the 100 butterfly that day. But Lanker, like her teammates, is either resilient or impressively deceptive, or maybe both. "You know, it's OK," she said, cheerfulness injected into her voice. "She's my friend." The crowd is mostly gone by now and the heat inside the bubble is gone with it. The air is getting colder, prickling Lanker's bare skin. She looks ready for a shower.

She thinks of her favorite memory, Regis's victory in the state championships two years ago. "I cried," Lanker says. "I've never cried tears of happiness."

The home locker room is actually a repurposed ladies room. A pack of little kids stands outside the door, wriggling as they wait to greet Franklin. At one point they hold up their arms to form a tiny arch before abandoning the plan. When she finally comes out they just fall on her, grabbing her waist, hugging her legs.

Abby Cutler takes a little longer to emerge. Her tall, thin body is lost inside her giant red Regis Jesuit parka. She wears the hood up. Cutler and Franklin first met when Cutler was briefly on the Stars and then reunited as freshmen at Regis Jesuit. They appear in each other's Twitter avatars, a teenager's declaration of dependence. Cutler has seen up close what it's like to be Missy Franklin. She has watched the clock so that drug testers will always know where Franklin is. She has heard her stories about meeting movie stars. She went to the Olympic trials last summer with Franklin, though she had to watch the Olympics on TV. "I'll never be able to get over the fact that she did what she did," Cutler says. "I'm so proud of her. It's amazing. That will never go away."

Their closeness is part of the team's closeness. High school sports can be tribal. Swimmers have an identity earned by nothing more than effort. "It's something you really only understand if you're experiencing it," Cutler says. "People on the outside don't really get it, they don't really understand the work, or how bad it hurts when you don't get a time, or how good it feels when you do get a time. Only your teammates can understand that."

Cutler finished sixth in the 200-yard freestyle that day, more than 15 seconds behind Franklin, and fourth in the 500, 14 seconds out of first. Her heart-shaped face is flushed. As she stands in the hallway, ready to leave, she sounds a little defiant. "This meet enforced why we do it and why it's worth it," she says. Regis Jesuit easily beat Cherry Creek, winning 11 out of the 12 events that afternoon and finishing with 201 points to 113.

After the Wall Street Journal article, members of the Cherry Creek team reached out to Franklin to tell her the story was wrong. They were happy to have the chance to swim against her. Most high school swimmers are. They want their picture taken with her; they are thrilled by her speed. "I was shocked," Highlands Ranch freshman Shawna Doughten told the Denver Post after racing her. "She was really fast. She lapped me three or four times. But I was encouraged. She makes you think anyone can do it."

This is pretty hilarious, but it gets at something about the experience that some high school athletes have. Teams can be wasp's nests, but they can also give a girl a sense of identity. Resentments are inescapable, but the success of one can ratify the others' pride. And who's to say what secret hopes of greatness a young woman can harbor — if not in this, then in something, someday? "We're very proud of the fact that we do what we do," Cutler says as she thinks of Regis Jesuit's state title. "People might not think the achievement is as great if we won the football state title, or if the boys did it, but we know in our hearts what we achieved to get there, and how hard it was. I think that knowledge is enough. You know what I mean? Like I said, it's hard to explain to someone who wouldn't know."

O n February 9, Regis Jesuit won another state championship. "I had a lot of trouble deciding whether or not to swim high school this year," an emotional Franklin said in a makeshift press conference afterward.

"I had a dome cap, which sometimes you put over your normal cap and your goggles, and I couldn't put it on," she said. "Because I knew it was the last time I was going to swim with a Regis cap on my head, and I didn't want to cover that up."

The seniors are done, and soon they'll be gone. Everything will change. It's a testament to her high school and club teams that Franklin was willing to give up so much to want to be part of a team in college. But the kind of intimacy that these adolescent girls have is much harder to find in any other place, at any other time.

Franklin, of course, will keep swimming, and Lanker has signed on to swim with Northeastern. I asked Cutler if she was going to swim in college, and she answered, "I think so." Senior teammate Carla Meli will not.

Meli has an open face, large eyes that are the soft brown color of her hair, and a manner and voice that makes her seem gentle. She stood on the deck after the Cherry Creek meet, barefoot and without a towel. I asked her how she would describe herself. "I'd say I'm a swimmer," she answered, twisting her long tangled hair into a bun. "I think I'll always be a swimmer."

Read the full article in Grantland.

HERSOM: Olympian Franklin encourages all swimmers
2/20/2013



SIOUX CITY | It wasn’t all that long ago that most of America’s larger high schools offered little more than football, basketball and track on a boys-only athletic agenda, cutting girls out of the sports picture entirely.

Slowly but surely, these same schools began offering teams for wrestling and swimming, for tennis and golf, and, yes, they finally caught up with the big favorite Iowa’s smaller high schools had been enjoying for decades -- girls basketball.

More sports, of course, meant more opportunities for young people to excel. And, even though there have always been individuals who could star in just about any activity they might choose to pursue, the vast majority of athletes generally find a special niche they wouldn’t have discovered without the expanded sports menu of today.

This is the time of year when I have often encouraged high school students to consider exploring how their own unique talents translate into the sport of track and field.

Plenty of young people who can’t shoot free throws or kick a football or hit a baseball have been astonished and delighted to learn they have a special gift for running or for one or more field events this highly diversified sport happens to entail.

Yes, of course, some track and field headliners will also wind up being some of the same individuals who star in those other sports.

Still, you can’t honestly know how you’re suited for any particular sport without giving it a try. Which brings me to a few updates I always enjoy sharing on familiar names from out of our past.

An alumnus of Cedar Rapids Washington, whose 27 state titles in boys swimming are 15 more than any other school has achieved, I'm quite familiar with what a successful high school swimming program involves.

A school that won as many as eight of the state meet's 11 events taught me to appreciate it even more since migrating to Sioux City, where swimming has known very limited success and has now been reduced to a single city-wide co-op team that failed to score in our recent boys state meet.

In basic terms, the only two boys state relay wins and six of the 11 individual titles ever captured by local boys swimmers all involved a school, Central High, that closed up 41 years ago.

One of five wins since then was a 100 backstroke title in 1984 by East's Eric Hansen, who as many of you realize is now in his second year as the head swimming coach at the University of Arizona.

After 12 years at the University of Wisconsin, Eric celebrated his new job last year by leading the Arizona men to a fourth-place finish and the women to a fifth-place effort in the NCAA championships.

And, his predecessor at Wisconsin, you'll possibly recall, was his older brother, Nick, who guided the Badger swim teams for seven seasons.

Both of these outstanding fellows swam on East High teams coached by their mother, Cleo. And, like their dad, Roger, they were both sensational athletes who had unlimited potential in many sports.

Aside from Eric, most of the Hansens now make their home in Colorado. And, Nick, who lives in the Fort Collins suburb of Loveland, has been busy watching a son and a daughter both blossom into very special athletes, as well.

Alec Hansen, a 6-7, 220-pound senior, is a baseball pitcher who has already signed a letter of intent with Oklahoma, where he’ll be a freshman next fall if a fastball in the mid-90’s doesn’t take him directly to the professional ranks this summer.

Then, there’s Nick’s daughter, Brooke, a sophomore who just posted two high school All-America clockings in the Colorado Class 5A state swimming meet.

Colorado puts on two state swimming meets each for boys and girls, by the way, with the largest schools competing in the Class 5A event while all other schools with swimming teams are assigned to Class 4A.

Brooke Hansen’s clockings in the 100 breaststroke and the 200 individual medley both met the elite times necessary for automatic All-America honors. And, although the breaststroke performance was definitely good for a state championship, she had to settle for second in the individual medley behind none other than Missy Franklin, winner of four gold medals in the last Olympics.

Indeed, Roger and Cleo Hansen’s granddaughter was part of a story that has been receiving lots of national attention ever since Franklin passed up millions of dollars in endorsement deals in order to swim her final high school season at Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora, Colo.

In fact, Franklin is holding off on the big bucks even longer because she plans to retain that amateur status while she continues on to swim for the University of California.

Unsurprisingly, there was plenty of feedback on either side of this issue, some protesting that Franklin was stealing the thunder from more typical high school swimmers who she was acing out of possible state titles. Most, though, simply thought it was fun to see her enjoy being a high school athlete and give her competitors the memorable experience of swimming against her.

Brooke Hansen, I’m pleased to learn, didn’t mind finishing second to Franklin in the 200 individual medley, where Brooke swam an All-American time of 2:02.20 while Franklin clocked a national record 1:56.85.

“It was definitely special and she’s just really nice,’’ Brooke told Mike Brohard, sports editor for the Loveland Reporter-Herald. “I was happy she was here. It’s not like every day you get to say I saw the best swimmer in the world or anything. She inspires a lot of kids and it was great how nice she was to everybody and cheering everybody on.’’

Brooke also garnered All-America laurels with her winning time of 1:03.35 in the breaststroke, winning by more than two seconds.

Read the full article in Sioux City Journal.

Video Interview: Missy Franklin Enjoying All Racing Opportunities
2/19/2013

ORLANDO, Florida, February 16. AFTER a tough weekend of racing last weekend in Colorado where she swam with a sore throat, Missy Franklin is swimming well in the Arena Grand Prix, including her fastest in-season swim in the 100 backstroke.

In this video interview with Swimming World's Tiffany Elias, Franklin talks about the joy of coming down to Florida to get in some crucial long course racing, which she doesn't get often in Colorado. And despite being sick last weekend and enduring a 500 freestyle at nearly 6,000 feet above sea level, it's obvious Franklin enjoyed the experience of her final high school meet.

Franklin also discusses her work with the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America and how a family member got her involved.

Read the full article and watch the video at Swimming World Magazine.

Missy Franklin wins 200 back, 100 free in Arena Grand Prix swimming
2/19/2013

ORLANDO, fla. — Regis Jesuit senior Missy Franklin made it four wins in three nights with a triumphant final day at the Arena Grand Prix on Saturday.

The four-time gold medalist at last year's London Olympic Games won the 200-meter backstroke in 2 minutes, 8.47 seconds and added the 100 freestyle title in 55.37, beating fellow Olympian Christine Magnuson by 0.62 of a second.

Franklin, who had the most successful appearance at the meet, will compete next at the Western Region Sectionals in Washington in March.

Ryan Lochte won the 200-meter individual medley, a refreshing change for the 11-time Olympic medalist, whose training has suffered while he's filming a reality TV show named "What Would Ryan Lochte do," for E! Entertainment Television.

Lochte competed in two other events at the meet, finishing third in the 100 backstroke Friday and a disappointing fifth in the 200 back Saturday.

Also putting in a strong showing was Tyler Clary with a win in the 200 back Saturday, his third victory of the meet.

Read the full article at The Denver Post.

Olympians Ryan Lochte, Missy Franklin are crowd pleasers at Grand Prix swim meet
2/19/2013



Missy Franklin is a world-record holder and a four-time Olympic gold medalist, but what she enjoyed most during her stay at the USA Swimming Arena Grand Prix Series meet at the Central Florida YMCA Aquatic Center on Saturday was the opportunity to meet the youngsters.

"The crowd here has been awesome," said Franklin, 17. "That is what I love is seeing all the kids in the stands. I remember exactly what that's like. We were just talking and I remember being 13 or 14 and being at the [Olympic] trials and seeing all the kids coming up to Ryan [Lochte] and Michael [Phelps] asking for autographs.

"One day when our records are completely wiped out, these will be the kids who will be doing it."

U.S. Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte and Franklin gave the fans what they came to see during the final day of the meet.

Franklin, 17, from Centennial, Colo., got her finals going with a victory in the 200 backstroke, an event in which she set the world record during the Olympics last August. Though Franklin's time (2:08.47) wasn't as fast as the 2:04.06 she swam last August, she won by more than a body length over Hilary Caldwell.

She also won the 100 freestyle in a time of 55.37 seconds.

"I'm feeling really, really great," Franklin said. "Coming into the meet, I didn't have any exceptional goals. I was coming in off of some tough training. I was extremely surprised by my 100 backstroke [which she won Friday in a 59.34]. I don't know where that came from."

Lochte, 28, who is from Daytona Beach and has won 11 Olympic medals, including five gold, won the men's 200-meter individual medley final in a time of 2 minutes, 1.32 seconds, building a cushion of a body length over Tyler Clary and going on to victory.

The results were not quite as good in the 200 backstroke where Lochte finished fifth.

But it didn't seem to matter to the fans, who mobbed Lochte on the pool deck after he was finished, wanting autographs and pictures with one of the world's best-known swimmers.

"This is like my hometown," Lochte said. "I have been swimming here since I was 11 years old. The fans here are great. I feel like I owe it to them to spend time with them."

Clearwater's Becca Mann, 15, got the night's competition off with a tough double, winning the women's 800-meter freestyle in a time of 8 minutes, 27.7 seconds and coming back less than five minutes later to win the 200-meter individual medley at 2:15.25.

Mann entered the final in the 800 seeded second after Alexa Komarnycky beat her by .43 seconds in the preliminaries.

"It's a pretty difficult double, but I really enjoy doing it and I said I was going to keep doing it until I got a my personal best in both and now I've accomplished that," Mann said.

USA Swimming Grand Prix

At YMCA Aquatic Center

Saturday's results

Women

800-meter freestyle: 1. Becca Mann, Clearwater Aquatics, 8:27.37; 2. Ashley Steenvoorden, unattached, 8:38.06; 3. Alexa Komarnycky, Island Swimming, 8:41.67; 4. Samantha Arevallo Salinas, Unattached, 8:46.77; 5. Courtney Harnish, York YMCA, 8:49.13; 6. Melissa Marinheiro, South Florida Aquatics, 9:04.32.

Read the full article in the Orlando Sentinel.

Missy Franklin keeps busy in high school
2/15/2013

Swimming great Missy Franklin, who won five medals at the London Olympic Games (including four gold medals), knows she has accomplished so many of her dreams at the young age of 17, but she isn't slowing down.

"I'm making so many new ones now!" she said.

In fact, in the past week, the senior at Regis Jesuit High School in Colorado:

• Set state and national swimming records and led her teammates to the Class 5A state championship. In four years, she has won eight individual state championships.

• Is a national ambassador to raise cancer awareness -- Stand Up To Cancer -- in honor of her friend's mother. Stand Up To Cancer, launched in 2008, has raised more than $262 million for cancer research.

• Was just named spokeswoman for the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America to serve as the Swim for MS Ambassador. She'll be featured in promotions and fund-raisers.

"I've had so many wonderful experiences and I can't thank God enough," Franklin said. "I'm trying to enjoy every second of my time."

Playbook had a few minutes to talk with Franklin about what's ahead.

You didn't need to come back to compete in high school but you did and you won the state championship again. What was that like?

"I'm so exhausted! The entire meet was so emotional. It was the last time swimming with those girls, the last time at that pool, the last time for so many things. I was absolutely balling. I'm so glad to share something special with best friends and teammates. I'll never forget it. It's all happy tears."

You must have senioritis as you prepare to swim and go to school at the University of California-Berkeley.

"From homework, yes! It's getting a little harder. I'm so looking forward to Cal. I'm definitely excited about college. I know I'm going to miss Colorado and all my friends here. I have no idea what I'm going to be studying at Cal. I have a passion for so many different things. I think I might consider education."

What did the Stand Up For Cancer program mean to you?

"Bonnie Suter is one of my best friend's mom. He and I swam together for years. She was like our team mom. She did the newsletters and the website stuff. She is incredible, gving so much back to our team. She found out she has Stage 4 cancer but she has exceeded all expectations and has been able to persevere. She still is pushing us. She is such a motivation for everyone."

What else is on your bucket list?

"I definitely want to have a family. I'll definitely wait for that. I always wanted to go hang gliding. There are still a couple of places I want to go. I'm getting my sucba diving certificate. Honestly, I have much left on my bucket list. There is still so much I want to do."

Read the full article in ESPN.

Missy Franklin, Dana Vollmer win
2/15/2013

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Olympic champions Missy Franklin and Dana Vollmer won their races on opening night of the Arena Grand Prix of Orlando on Thursday.

Franklin easily won the 200-meter freestyle in 1 minute, 58.01 seconds. Vollmer won her signature event, the 100 butterfly, in 58.91 seconds. Jeanette Otteson of Denmark was second in 59.36, while Audrey Lacroix took third in 59.71.

Olympic gold medalist Tyler Clary won the 400 individual medley in 4:24.56. Esteban Enderica was second at 4:25.12, while Olympic gold medalist Conor Dwyer was third at 4:25.30.

Olympian Tyler McGill won the men's 100 fly in 53.38, more than a second ahead of the rest of the field. Olympic gold medalist Ryan Lochte was second at 54.40. Becca Mann, second to Franklin in the 200 free, won the women's 400 IM in 4:41.24.

Read the full article in ESPN.

Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin to Serve as the Swim for MS Ambassador
2/13/2013

Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) has enlisted the volunteer support of four-time Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin to serve as the Swim for MS Ambassador.

Franklin is featured in a series of flyers, brochures and a new national television public service announcement (SEE VIDEO ABOVE), encouraging individuals to participate in this exciting fundraiser which supports vital programs and services for the multiple sclerosis community. Starting in March, MSAA will award the top fundraiser of the month with an autographed photo of Missy, providing the minimum amount raised is $500.

“Swim for MS provides an individual or group the opportunity to combine one’s love of swimming with giving back to the community,” states Franklin. “Start your Swim for MS campaign today and make a difference!”

SwimOutlet.com, the web’s most popular swim shop, is pleased to announce its new partnership with the MSAA to help promote the charity’s national fundraiser, Swim for MS. Serving as the distribution sponsor for Swim for MS, SwimOutlet.com will feature promotional information and ongoing updates on swim events through newsletter articles, targeted email campaigns, and posts on social media, including Facebook and Twitter.

Supported by national sponsor Genzyme Corporation, Swim for MS is a unique fundraiser in which volunteers are encouraged to create their own swim challenge while recruiting online donations from supporters. Swim challenges can range from swimming laps for pledges to jumping cannonballs for cash. Swim for MS appeals to swim enthusiasts of all ages, social and community groups, students seeking volunteer service hours, and families enjoying their backyard pool. For more information and to register, visit SwimforMS.org.
“We’re incredibly pleased to support the MSAA by spreading the word of their Swim for MS initiative,” said Rob Penner, VP, Sports Marketing at SwimOutlet.com. “Together with the help of the aquatic community, they can continue to improve the lives of the MS community through their wide-range of services and programs.”

Read the full article and watch the video at Swim Swam.

Michael Phelps, Missy Franklin Nominated For Top Laureus Sports Awards
2/12/2013

PHOENIX, Arizona, February 11. ANOTHER major sports award, another spot on the nominations list for Michael Phelps and Missy Franklin, who will vie for top honors at the Laureus World Sports Awards on March 11 in Rio de Janeiro.

Though the Laureus committee announced in November that the two Olympic champions were part of a bigger list of candidates to be considered for the award, today's announcement whittled the list down to six per category.

Phelps is in an extremely distinguished list of nominees for World Sportsman of the Year. Olympic champions Usain Bolt (track and field), Mo Farrah (track and field) and Bradley Wiggins (cycling) are nominated, as are race car driver Sebastian Vettel and soccer player Lionel Messi.


Franklin is also vying for the award against three Olympic champions: Heptathlete Jessica Ennis, as well as track stars Allyson Felix and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. Also nominated are skier Lindsey Vonn and tennis player Serena Williams.

Swimmers are represented in two other Laureus categories. China's Ye Shiwen and France's Yannick Agnel are among the nominees for World Breakthrough Athlete of the Year, and Brazilian Paralympic champion Daniel Dias vies for the World Sportsperson of the Year With a Disability.

The Laureus Sports Awards are voted on by a jury of former sports greats, called the Laureus Academy. The World Sportsperson of the Year With a Disability is voted by a panel from the International Paralympic Committee.

Since the awards were first handed out in 2000, three swimmers have been honored. Rebecca Adlington won the Breakthrough Award in 2009, and Dias (2009) and Natalie du Toit (2010) have won the Disability Award.

This year marks Phelps' fifth nomination for Sportsman of the Year. In 2004, he lost to Formula One racer Michael Schumacher. In 2005 and 2008, tennis player Roger Federer received the award, while Bolt won in 2009.

Read the full article in Swimming World Magazine.

High School State Championships: Regis Jesuit, Thompson Valley Win in Colorado
2/12/2013

FORT COLLINS, Colorado, February 10. MISSY Franklin closed out her high school career with a national and a state record in her two individual victories. But there were plenty of other fine swims in both 4A and 5A action, with several division records going by the wayside.

This article is focused on the other great swims that took place in Colorado, full coverage of Franklin's swims, including a national independent school record in the 200 IM, are available here:
Prelims

Finals

Division 4A
Thompson Valley claimed its fourth straight 4A title in a close battle with Cheyenne Mountain. The final score was 300-282. Third place went to Evergreen (266). Broomfield finished just ahead of Pueblo South for fourth, 153-146.

Evergreen's Lexie Malazdrewicz, who will attend USC next fall, finished out her high school career with 4A records in the 50 and 100 free (23.63 and 50.15). Lauren Abruzzo from Denver Kent also nabbed two event titles. The future Northwestern swimmer was tops in both the 200 IM (0:00.00) and 500 free (0:00.00).

Five division records fell to Cheyenne Mountain (200 medley relay, 1:45.89), Erin Eddy from Thompson Valley (200 free, 1:48.34), Thompson Valley (200 free relay, 1:36.54), Pueblo South's Mary Saiz (100 back, 56.49) and Logan Morris of Montrose (100 breast, 1:03.60).

The diving title went to Alexa Beckwith from St. Mary's Academy with 491.30 points.

Division 5A
Regis Jesuit reclaimed its 5A title with 287 points. Fossil Ridge claimed second with 243 points, with Fairview third (181). Arapahoe and Cherry Creek tied for fourth with 167 points each.

Missy Franklin ended her career at Regis Jesuit with a national record 1:56.85 in the 200 IM and 4:41.72 in the 500 free, good for a state record (see separate story for details). She also helped Regis Jesuit to wins in the 200 and 400 free relays. Taylor Wilson, Meggie Chase and Amy Lenderink to a 1:36.19 in the 200 free relay; Lindsay Kriz and Lindsay Painton joined Wilson and Franklin for a first-place 3:26.41 in the 400 free relay.

Fossil Ridge's squad of Emilee Dinkel, Sammy Guay, Bailey Nero and Rhianna Williams captured the 200 medley relay in 1:45.37, ahead of Regis Jesuit's 1:46.90. Williams grabbed individual titles in the 50 and 100 free (23.02 and 49.90).

Erin Metzger-Seymour of Ralston Valley earned victories in both the 200 free (1:49.92) and 100 fly (54.91). Andie Taylor from Lewis-Palmer grabbed the 100 back (56.28). Loveland's Hanson claimed first place in the 100 breast (1:03.35).

Michal Bower of Loveland was the top diver, scoring 486.15 points.

Read the full article in Swimming World Magazine.

Missy Franklin Ready for 2013
2/11/2013

5-time Olympic Medalist, Missy Franklin, starts 2013 off with a bang, swimming 2:07 in the 200 meter backstroke at the Austin Grand Prix. Outside of her high school swimming schedule (which is done with another state championships in the bag), Franklin will attend the Orlando Grand Prix, and she plans on “perhaps” taking a little rest to put down some fast swims at sectionals later this spring.

In the Gold Medal Minute presented by SwimOutlet.com interview above, Franklin’s roller coaster Olympic honeymoon period is recapped. After winning four Olympic gold medals, Franklin quickly returned to high school in the United States, and a brutal — but fun! — schedule of media appearances. Now, five months later, Franklin’s glad she did the Olympic appearances (all unpaid as she’s still an amature), glad she learned how to handle it, and she’s focused on what she loves best, racing.

Read the full article in Swim Swam.

Missy Franklin Breaks Independent School Record in 200 IM; Far From Overall Mark
2/11/2013

Though Dagny Knutson’s career may have been cut short before she had any big international successes, and though there was some polyurethane in play, it is a referendum on how good Knutson was that a pair of Olympic gold medalists couldn’t take down her National High School Records in early action on Saturday. Katie Ledecky swam the 200 free and was about two-tenths off, and then in Colorado, Missy Franklin swam a 1:56.85 in the 200 IM to miss Knutson’s overall record by a solid three seconds.

Franklin’s swim did, however, take down the 200 IM Independent High School Record held by her good friend and fellow Olympian Kathleen Hersey. Hersey, who swam for Marist High School in Georgia, was a 1:57.41 in 2008. Knutson still stands as queen-of-the-mountain with a 1:53.82 from 2009 (albeit in prelims).

The comparative splits of the two swims are below. Not a big surprise, as Franklin fell behind the record pace of the butterflier Hersey early in the race, but made up a ton of ground on the backstroke. Hersey, more of a true IM’er than Franklin who swam this race more for its impact on the team standings, was better on breaststroke, but Franklin brought the race home hard in a closing split of 27.64. Also keep in mind that Franklin’s swim was done in altitude, which makes a small but noticeable difference on time over 200 yards.

Franklin, who was not shaved or tapered for this meet, missed out on a record in her next swim, the 500 free, where she was a 4:41.72. She swam anchors on the two free relays as well, so no chances at flat-start records there.

Hersey ’08 – 25.11 – 29.25 – 34.86 – 28.19 - 1:57.41
Franklin ’12 – 25.59 – 27.89 – 35.73 – 27.64 – 1:56.85

Read the full article in Swim Swam.

A Grammy for Alex Morgan or Missy Franklin?
2/11/2013

The bond between music and sport is often blurred -- with musicians wanting to be athletes and vice-versa. While you're watching the Grammys on Sunday night, think of these Olympians who briefly entertain on a different stage: Alex Morgan does her best impression Katy Perry, whose song “Wide Awake” is up for Best Pop Solo Performance. And USA Swimming, highlighted by Missy Franklin, dives into a cover of "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen, which has been nominated for Best Pop Solo Performance and Song of the Year.

Read the full article in ESPNW.

Olympic Superstar Missy Franklin Cruises During Colorado State Prelims
2/11/2013

FORT COLLINS, Colorado, February 8. MULTIPLE Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin is pulling the curtain on her high school career with Regis Jesuit this weekend at the Colorado State High School Championships. Tonight, she took part in prelims before a standing-room only audience.

Franklin opened the evening with a 1:58.22 to lead the way during 200-yard IM preliminary competition. That swim downed the state record of 1:59.09 set by current Arizona swimmer Bonnie Brandon, but is three seconds off Franklin's best yard time of 1:55.32 set back at the 2010 short course nationals. During finals tomorrow, not only will she be looking for a lifetime best, she also has Dagny Knutson's overall national high school record of 1:53.82 in her sights.

Franklin is a shoo-in to take down 2012 Olympic teammate Kathleen Hersey's independent school record of 1:57.41 set back in 2008 while swimming for Marist High in Georgia. Franklin and Hersey are more widely known in tandem for their amazing efforts as some of the stars of the USA Swimming Olympic training camp "Call Me Maybe" video.


Franklin then turned in a 4:45.51 in the 500-yard free preliminary heats, falling a few seconds back of her personal best of 4:42.00 from the 20120 Speedo Championship Series Western Regionals. Franklin has a long way to go to catch up to fellow Olympian Katie Ledecky, who threw down a national high school record at the 2013 Metro Championships tonight with a blazing preliminary swim of 4:33.14.

Franklin also managed to drop a 22.73 as Regis Jesuit's 200-yard free relay leadoff, just a bit off her personal record of 22.15 posted during the Arena Grand Prix stop in Minneapolis last November. Also, as part of the 400-yard free relay, Franklin clocked a 49.05 leadoff. That swim just missed her national independent school record of 48.39 from 2010, and is off Knutson's overall record of 48.15 from 2009.

Franklin is best known for her sterling performance at the 2012 London Olympics, where she won four golds and a bronze in her maiden Olympic outing. The best high school recruit ever, Franklin has since decided to attend California after this year for a two-year stint before planning to turn pro heading into the 2016 Olympics.

There has been some controversy surrounding Franklin's participation at the Colorado championships, as some parents and family members have complained about trying to get tickets to see their kids, as the facility only seats 1,000 spectators.

Read the full article in Swimming World Magazine.

Photos: Missy Franklin breaks records in Girls 5A CHSAA Championships
2/11/2013

Missy Franklin broke records, winning multiple events along with her teammates from Regis Jesuit High School during the CHSAA 5A Girls Swimming and Diving State Championships on February 9, 2013 at Edora Pool Ice Center in Fort Collins, Colorado. “So proud of my girls and every other competitor at state,” said Franklin to her Twitter followers. “We raced our hearts out! Congrats to everyone!!”

View photos at The Denver Post.

Missy Franklin caps prep career in style as Regis Jesuit take title
2/11/2013

Was it worth it? Did she enjoy it? And would she do it again? Colorado's Golden Girl responded with a resounding yes to each question. "It has been incredible," an exhausted and hoarse Missy Franklin said Saturday night at the Edora Pool Ice Center after capping perhaps the most unlikely, celebrated and scrutinized schoolgirl career here and nationally.

The senior at Regis Jesuit High School won races for the Raiders individually and as a relay member, set state and national swimming records and led her teammates to the Class 5A state championship.

But she acted just as she did in London last summer, when she won five medals, including four gold, as a member of the U.S. Olympic team, saying all the right things, giving credit to others and treating the local stage as she did with the one worldwide.

"Now, I realize why I did this," she said. "It's being with my girls for the last time. It's the very last swim with all of them and for me to have a Regis cap on my head."

Her mother, D.A., along with her father, Dick, were at the forefront of support for Franklin's unique opportunity to continue competing as a high schooler, and there were tears of joy afterward.

"I'm so happy, so happy that she did this," said an emotional D.A. Franklin.

Missy's presence as a Raider the past two years drew all kinds of comments that had mostly subsided by the beginning of the 5A preliminaries Friday.

Franklin, 17, raised the question: Should an Olympian compete as a high schooler? Indeed, this probably happened in the only sport in which it could happen. It was debated throughout Colorado's swimming community, in a poll by The Denver Post, as well as talked about from California to New York. Franklin also found herself in the pages of The Wall Street Journal, and not for turning down millions of dollars in endorsements to retain her amateur status as a Raider now and next fall when she will attend the University of California, Berkeley. The WSJ article included criticism of her for continuing to swim for her high school.

After the initial shock, the feeling swayed heavily in Franklin's favor.

"I know some people think, 'Why in the world does she do this?' " said 45-year Littleton coach Maurice "Stringy" Ervin. "But she is such an outstanding young lady and such a role model. I mean, I guess I can see (the detractors') point ... but I think it's great."

Colorado High School Activities Association assistant commissioner Bethany Brookens, who helped deal with the circus that accompanied Franklin, said she was aware of potential problems, but "we didn't hear much, just word of mouth, people calling into Dave Logan's (radio) show or KOA, just kind of rumors. ... Since all the parents were able to see their kids swim, they were thrilled as well. It was all worth it, it really was. The girls were thrilled to be in her presence. And I think she's terrific."

Fossil Ridge senior Rhianna Williams, who won back-to-back state titles in 5A's 50- and 100-yard freestyles, agreed, saying: "It was cool. We got to swim against an Olympian."

Always smiling, Franklin said she appreciated "all of the girls coming up to me and saying the most wonderful things. And that's really all that matters."

As much of a rock star as a teenage athlete can be, Franklin, who has a grade-point average above 4.0 and until this year had to take her finals solo because of her travels to the likes of Berlin, was grateful to the CHSAA for the way it was handled. A year ago, parents overreacted when they thought they wouldn't get tickets to the finals because of Franklin's following. CHSAA officials didn't need to be reminded of security, media access and fans young, old and in between asking Franklin for autographs, cellphone pictures or her cap and goggles. Audra Cathy, a CHSAA administrative assistant, was assigned to Franklin for the two-day meet and left her side only when she was seconds from competing.

"I'm her bodyguard," Cathy joked.

But there really wasn't anything that funny about it. When one of Franklin's events drew near, preliminary or final, no fan, swimmer, coach, EPIC official or worker moved. Eyes on the pool only.

Plus, video was available in the lobby. Girls screamed, adults politely clapped, and teammates went crazy.

Franklin won the maximum eight individual state championships over her four years and 12 titles counting relays. Saturday, she won the 200-yard individual medley in a blazing 1 minute, 56.85 seconds — state and national records. Her 4:41.72 time set a state record in the 500 freestyle, and Franklin anchored the Raiders' 200 and 400 freestyle relays to victory.

She also led the Raiders to their second team state title in three years and lamented the fact that this probably was the end of her glorious run locally. Her pre-meet swim in the Regis Jesuit bubble in Aurora was probably her final dip for practice.

Unless the Cal Golden Bears come here to swim against, say, Colorado State, Franklin is done with local water, save for workouts.

"I couldn't think of a better way to end it," she said.

Ultimately, her mother was relieved.

"She's 17. And she wanted to stay 17," D.A. Franklin said.

Would Missy Franklin, even knowing what she went through, do it again?

"Absolutely, 100 times over," she said.

Missy Franklin timeline

March: Franklin swam two Olympic Trials-qualifying times at the National Club Swimming Association Junior Nationals. Her 200-meter individual medley time of 2:19.12 set a national age group short-course record. Her 50 freestyle time of 26.21 also qualified.

June:Having turned 13, Franklin swam at the U.S. Olympic team trials in the 200 individual medley, 100 freestyle and 50 freestyle. She finished 40th in the 200 IM.

August: Franklin began her freshman year at Regis Jesuit High.

December: Franklin did not race in her first big high school meet because she was in England competing for Team USA in the Duel in the Pool. At that event, she produced the world's seventh-fastest 100-meter freestyle time of the year when she clocked 52.78 seconds in a 400 relay leg.

February: In her first state meet, Franklin set Colorado records in the 50-yard freestyle and 100

backstroke finals, one-upping marks she set the day before in the preliminaries. Her time of 22.49 seconds in the 50 freestyle was the fifth-best ever nationally, and her 53.16 in the backstroke was the third-best.

August: A sophomore at Regis, she was second in the 200-meter backstroke and sixth in the 100-meter free at the USA Swimming National Championships.

November: During the three-day USA Swimming Grand Prix in Minneapolis, Franklin won all seven events she entered, taking first in the 50-, 100- and 200-yard freestyle events, the 100 and 200 backstroke events and the 200 and 400 individual medley races. With her Colorado Stars teammates, she added a silver in the 400 free relay and bronze medals in the 400 medley and 800 free relays. Included in the wins were the 200-yard freestyle in 1:43.70, nearly three seconds better than her closest competitor; the 400 IM in 4:08.06, beating everyone by almost six seconds; a career best in the 200 IM (1:57.16); the 200 back in 1:53.17; and the 100 free in 48.50.

December: Won the 200 free at the U.S. short course national championships in Columbus, Ohio, and also finished third in the 200 IM, fourth in the 50 free and sixth in the 100 back. Later in the month at the short-course world championships in the United Arab Emirates, she was second in the 200 back, fourth in the 100 back and 400 IM and seventh in the 100 IM.

January: At the Austin Grand Prix, she captured five gold medals (50 free, 100 back, 200 back, 200 IM and 200 free) and one silver.

February: At her second state meet, the sophomore broke her state-meet records in the 50-yard freestyle and 100 backstroke (not only did she shatter her 2010 record of 53.16 by winning in 52.30 seconds, she eclipsed Natalie Coughlin's 1998 national record of 52.86). She also swam the first leg of the Raiders' meet-opening win in the 200 medley relay and the anchor leg in the 400 freestyle relay, leading Regis Jesuit to a state-record time of 3:22.42.

March: Inducted into the Sportswomen of Colorado Hall of Fame.

May 2011: Three days after turning 16, she won her 15th gold medal of the USA Swimming Grand Prix season with a record effort at the 27th annual Charlotte (N.C.) UltraSwim meet. Franklin won the 200 free in 1 minute, 57.66 seconds. She also won the 200 back by nearly three seconds (2:08.36), prompting Michael Phelps to say, "She can get out and swim with anybody, and isn't at all fazed by it."

July: In her first world championships in Shanghai, Franklin won three golds (800 free relay, 200 back with a national record and 400 medley relay), one silver (400 free relay) and one bronze (50 back).

October: Franklin set her first world record at the FINA World Cup in Germany, going 2:00.03 in the 200 back (short course, i.e. yards).

February: State meet as a junior she won the 200 free and 100 back and her medley relay team was second and her 400-free relay team was third. Regis Jesuit was third in the team standings.

June: At the U.S. Olympic trials in Omaha, she qualified for four individual events: 100 and 200 backstroke and the 100 and 200 freestyle. She set the American record in the 100 back (58.85).

August: She started her Olympic debut in London with a bronze in the 400-free relay, then went on to win gold medals in the 100 and 200 backstroke, the 800 free relay and the 400 medley relay. Her gold in the 200 back came in a world-record 2:04.06 (long course, i.e. meters).

November: Decides to swim at the University of California.

Feb. 9: Swims for final time as a high-schooler, at the state meet.

Read the full article in The Denver Post.

Missy Franklin Caps High School Career in Front of Sold-Out Crowd
2/8/2013

FORT COLLINS, Colorado, February 8. IF you thought about popping into Fort Collin's EPIC swimming facility this weekend to catch a glimpse of Missy Franklin swimming her last high school meet, think again. The facility, which seats about 1,000 spectators (the largest swimming facility in Colorado), has only allotted 100 seats for the general public. Those tickets were snapped up within minutes of going on sale this past Wednesday.

After parents complained about being unable to see their children swim at last year's Colorado state championships due to crowds of Franklin fans, the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) heavily restricted ticket sales this year. They allowed schools to purchase up to two tickets per state qualifier. With 450 swimmers qualified, that eats up 90% of available tickets.

"We're super excited that Missy's swimming, and we're happy to do whatever it takes to ensure that we get all the parents in," Bethant Brookens, assistant commissioner with the CHSAA told the Coloradoan. "... The venue's going to be packed with parents, so it's not like it'll be full of Missy Franklin fans."

However, fans can still watch Franklin compete even if they were unable to snag one of the 100 allotted to the general public. Playonsports.com will be streaming the event for $3.95 a day.

Read the full article in Swimming World Magazine.

Franklin's final high school meet drawing a crowd
2/7/2013

DENVER—The teen sensation will perform in front of a capacity crowd this weekend, hoping to treat the fans to one last splashy show.

And no, Justin Bieber hasn't suddenly added a concert date in the Mile High City.

This ticket is even harder to come by as Regis Jesuit senior Missy Franklin concludes her high school swimming career at the Class 5A state championships in Fort Collins, Colo. Franklin, a four-time Olympic gold medalist, will compete in the 200-yard individual medley and 500 free, along with perhaps two more relay events.

Interested in attending?

Sorry, it's sold out. Has been for quite some time.

The Colorado High School Activities Association allocated roughly 90 percent of the nearly 990 available tickets to schools so that all parents of qualified swimmers had a chance to see their kids swim.

The few remaining tickets went fast, especially with fans of Franklin hoping to see the 17-year-old swim one final time in her prep career before heading off to the University of California at Berkeley.

Then again, this event usually draws a crowd with or without Franklin.

The ever-cheerful Franklin nearly didn't swim this season for her high school team after criticism arose over whether her presence took away from other swimmers. In the end, she did and her two dual meets last month drew huge crowds. She stayed long after the competition to pose for photos with competitors and sign autographs for kids, who wanted to be the next Missy Franklin.

"I think most people are pleased that she is completing her high school career with the team she started with," said Bert Borgmann, the assistant commissioner of CHSAA. "Most look at this unique situation as a positive experience for the competitors. It's hard for some folks to remember that Missy is a 17-year-old who wants to do the same things that her friends do and be part of the team and have fun doing it.

"Just because a swimmer competes in the Olympics doesn't mean that she has left childhood and high school behind."

For Franklin, the state meet is simply one last hurrah. She's not out to crush the competition so much as she wants to be close to her friends.

"It would be a real shame for her not to be able to finish it out, to see it to the end," her father, Richard Franklin, recently said. "We like to think that as children grow up, you want them to finish things, to stay committed, to meet their obligations. That's what she's doing."

On the heat sheet, she's listed as, "Franklin, Melissa."

Once in the water, though, she becomes "Missy the Missile" and those 200 IM and 500 free state records could be in real jeopardy. Franklin set Colorado marks in the 100 and 200 free events last year. Two years ago, she broke records in the 50 free, 100 back and as a member of the 400 free relay.

"To be a part of it, I'm so happy," said Franklin, who recently won four events at the Austin Grand Prix on the University of Texas campus.

There's been no pressure on Franklin this season, unlike last summer when she took the stage at the London Games, where she brought home a total of five medals and set a new world mark in the 200-meter backstroke.

Since then, she's had quite a ride, chatting with Jay Leno on his show, serving as a grand marshal at the Fiesta Bowl parade and making a cameo appearance in a new movie starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson.

You know, typical teenager stuff.

"That 17 or 18 years goes by in a flash," Richard Franklin said after attending his daughter's final home dual meet last month. "The decision to stay amateur, swim high school, go to college, it's all good. It's all really good."

At state, Missy Franklin isn't seeking the spotlight so much as shying away from it. She just wants to swim, not conduct interviews. That's why she's off limits until her final event on Saturday night.

"Missy has been cooperative with us in many ways because she wants the other swimmers to have their time in the glow of the state championships, too," said Borgmann, who said the meet will be broadcast through the organization's website. "We want to make this a special meet for all the state qualifiers and are working toward that end."

Earlier this year, though, there were those wondering why Franklin was competing at the high school level, especially after beating the best in the world.

Nick Frasersmith, her coach at Regis, doesn't understand that logic.

"At what level do you say someone is too good to compete for their high school or a team they've been a part of for four years?" he said. "She's gotten to where she's gotten by training hard and working hard. Why hold that against her?"

Eric Craven, the coach of rival Cherry Creek, couldn't agree more.

"Look at it this way: LeBron James was the No. 1 pick in the NBA, right? Well, I'm sure there were people complaining about that. They're like, 'Why is LeBron playing basketball in high school?'" Craven said. "Because he wanted to represent his school, wanted to be with his teammates, wanted to represent (his state). It's the same thing Missy is going through. She wants to represent the school. This is a good thing."

Read the full article in The Denver Post.

Missy Franklin Won’t Swim 100 Back, 200 Free at Colorado State Championship Meet
2/7/2013

There are three individual events on the high school schedule that high school superstar Missy Franklin swam in London in 2012: the 100 free, the 200 free and the 100 backstroke. When she represents Regis Jesuit High School in Fort Collins, she won’t swim either of those races.

Instead, she’s opting to race the 200 IM and the 500 free, according to psych sheets that were released today. No names were listed under relays, so we still can’t be certain about which two relays she’ll add to that schedule.

Full psych sheets here.

Franklin had a chance at breaking the all-time high school records in both the 100 back and 200 free, but as she has made clear all season, she’s not swimming for the records or the individual glory. This season is all about the team for her. She will still have a chance at breaking records in those two races, because she’s so good even in these off events. The most likely to go down is the 1:57.41 held by her good friend, and Olympic teammate Kathleen Hersey that is the independent school record in the 200 IM. Franklin was a 1:55.3 in the 200 yard IM in 2010, when she was only 15, so Knutson’s overall record is in danger as well.

Her best time in the 500 free is a 4:42.00 in the same year.

500 Free

Overall and Independent School Records: 4:33.35, Kate Ziegler, Bishop O’Connell, 2006

200 IM

Independent School Record: 1:57.41, Kathleen Hersey, Maris H.S., 2008
Overall: 1:53.82, Dagny Knutson, Minot H.S., 2009

Brooke Hansen from Loveland (2:05.84) and Shelley Drozda (2:05.86) from Mountain Range will be the two to push her in that IM. Both are sophomores, and with that youth and Drozda’s speed in the backstroke especially (she’s the top seed), Franklin could have at least a little push early on. Hansen is primarily a breaststroker.

In the 500, Ralston junior Madeline Myers is seeded a mere .02 behind Frankin in 5:57.73.

Franklin will likely be the swimmer of the meet, but based on a quick glance of the psych sheets, Fossil Ridge will be the favorites to take the team title again. Last year, their win was a surprise and a bit of an upset; this year the team is clearly stacked, with senior sprinter Rhianna Williams, who is the top seed in the 50 (23.35) and 100 (51.24) freestyles.

Read the full article in Swim Swam.

Dana Vollmer Making Post-Olympic Return in Orlando; Missy Franklin Also Racing
2/7/2013

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado, February 6. MISSY Franklin won't have much to reflect on swimming in her final high school competition, as she will board a plane to compete at the Orlando stop of the Arena Grand Prix next week.

Dana Vollmer, the reigning Olympic champion in the 100 butterfly, will make her first appearance in the race pool since winning three gold medals in London. Vollmer is continuing to train with Teri McKeever and her stable of swimming stars in Berkeley, Calif., and next week's meet will mark the beginning of her quest to defend her world title in the 100 fly later this year in Barcelona.

As for Franklin, this will mark her third-straight appearance at the Arena Grand Prix, having raced in Minneapolis and Austin. Franklin is the overall points leader in the female standings, though her upcoming participation in NCAA swimming means she won't be able to collect any payday from participating. The new NCAA rules that will allow student-athletes to earn a portion of their winnings to cover travel expenses do not go into effect until August 1.


Ryan Lochte and Conor Dwyer are also scheduled to attend the meet, coming down from intense altitude training at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Lochte is the overall leader in the men's points standings, and will likely continue to build on that lead in Orlando.

Tyler Clary, the reigning Olympic champion in the 200 backstroke, will also be in Orlando to get back into racing shape ... at least in the pool. Recently, Clary participated in the Skip Barber Racing School IndyCar Academy to fulfill his aspirations of being a race car driver. But the 2016 Olympics is his most important goal, and Orlando marks his second meet since the London Olympics.

A small international field will attend to get in crucial racing experience before the world championships. Canada's Ryan Cochrane, the silver medalist in the 1500 freestyle in London, was dominant in the Austin stop of the Grand Prix, and could be just as dominant in Orlando. Also scheduled to attend is China's Wu Peng, a training partner of Clary's at the University of Michigan's postgraduate program. No word yet on whether the team's newest addition, Japan's Junya Koga, also plans to race in Florida.

Prelims start at 9 a.m. with finals set for a 6 p.m. start. Arena, the new title sponsor of the meet, is allowing spectators to meet famous athletes with their new "Autograph Arena," which will be open at various times throughout the meet.

It is likely more swimmers will attend the Orlando meet than showed up in Austin, as USA Swimming has lowered the "B" qualifying standards. However, the meet will still be capped at 600 swimmers.

Read the full article in Swimming World Magazine.

Missy Franklin To Swim 200 IM, 500 Free at Colorado H.S. Championships
2/7/2013

PHOENIX, Arizona, February 6. MISSY Franklin is deviating from her usual slate of events this weekend at the Colorado 5A swimming and diving high school championships, racing the 200 IM and 500 freestyle for Regis Jesuit in her final high school meet.

The release of the psych sheets for the meet shows seed times of 2:02.10 in the 200 IM and 4:57.71 in the 500 free for Franklin. The USA Swimming database shows Franklin's lifetime best of 4:42.00 in the 500 free from 2010, and 1:55.32 in the 200 IM from 2010.

Franklin did not completely shave and taper for the 2012 championships, in preparation for the Olympic Trials and Olympic Games, and her camp indicated previously that a full rest is not likely this weekend as well. Last year, Franklin set independent national high school records in the 100 free (48.39), 200 free (1:43.15) and 100 back (52.30).


This year, the Colorado altitude could play a factor in Franklin's chase of the national high school records this year. The EPIC pool in Fort Collins sits at close to 5,500 feet, and races longer than 100 yards are most affected by the lack of oxygen. If Franklin were to approach her lifetime best time in the 200 IM, she would break Kathleen Hersey's independent national record of 1:57.41, and possibly give Dagny Knuston's overall record of 1:53.82 a scare. As for the 500 free, she will have some work to do to catch Kate Ziegler's national record of 4:33.35.

Though relay rosters are not official yet, Franklin is likely to make the 100 freestyle her final high school race as a leadoff swimmer for Regis on the 400 free relay. If that is the case, she would have the opportunity to lower her independent high school record and challenge Knutson's overall record of 48.15.

It's not known why Franklin chose to swim a different program in her final high school competition, but when looking ahead to her collegiate career at UC-Berkeley it would appear that Franklin is testing out what her third event could be at the NCAA championships. Provided she races the 200 free on the second day at NCAAs and the 200 back the third day, she would need a third event, likely on day one. The 200 IM and 500 free are both swum on day one at the championships.

Fossil Ridge senior Rhianna Williams is another swimmer to watch at the 5A championships. She is the reigning champion in the 50 and 100 freestyles.

Read the full article in Swimming World Magazine.

Watch: ‘Pretty Little Liars’ Star Shay Mitchell Teases Another Loss on Season 3
2/6/2013

As this season progresses on ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars, the secrets are spilling out like someone was given truth serum.

Toby (Keegan Allen) is on the “A” team, Detective Wilden (Bryce Johnson) was in Cape May the same time as Alison (Sasha Pieterse), and Ali may have been pregnant when she died. The secrets keep coming and when Celebuzz spoke with series’ star Shay Mitchell at her perfume release party she spilled another one: “This season, I would say that there might be one person that gets removed from Rosewood and possibly due to the ‘A’ team.”

While your heads are churning with theories about whom she could be referring to, Mitchell’s character Emily Fields will be doing some more digging about Alison’s past.

“Well, it’s interesting especially since Emily found out a lot about Ali from the summer before in her journal and now she’s trying to get down to the bottom of it,” revealed Mitchell. Emily wants to know “if everything that she read in [Ali’s] diary” is actually true.

There are many reasons for her character to be skeptical, the actress elaborated, “because Ali kind of enhanced a lot of stuff back in the day.”

Meanwhile, Emily will also get a visit from gold medal Olympic swimmer Missy Franklin on an upcoming episode of the show. The two will talk about – what else? – swimming. So did Franklin have any advice for Mitchell on playing a swimmer?

“I told her about my coaching when I was doing the swimming thing for Emily and I actually had a coach for two weeks prior to this one episode. And I was like, ‘I don’t know how you did it.’ It was so tiring,” said Mitchell, 25. “She was amazing. She was like, ‘Honestly, you need to eat a lot before and after.’”

As for Franklin’s acting skills? Mitchell told us, “She was great. She was such a pro when she was on-set. She hit her mark every single time and didn’t forget her lines once. She was really fun to work with.”

Watch Mitchell’s entire interview above and hear her talk about her new perfume with fashion brand Juicy Couture below.

Pretty Little Liars airs Tuesday at 8PM on ABC Family.

Who do you think could go missing this season? Are you excited for Franklin’s cameo? Let us know in the comments below!

Read the full article and watch the video at Celebuzz.

Missy Franklin Stands Up For Bonnie Suter on World Cancer Day
2/4/2013

Four-time Olympic gold medalist, Missy Franklin, has been very busy since her spectacular London Olympic performance.  Much of it has been the media tour you’d expect from a multi-Olympic medalist, but Franklin has also given her time for charity.

Today, February 4th, is World Cancer Day, and Franklin joins many high profile celebrities to raise cancer awareness, including Tim McGraw, Emma Stone, Carson Daly, Brian Williams, Seth Rogan, Tom Hanks, Dana Delany, Samuel L. Jackson, Joshua Jackson, Katie Couric, and Alison Sweeney.

Franklin, through the Stand Up To Cancer campaign, stands up for a good friend’s mother, Bonnie Suter. Franklin’s friend and his brother are swimmers. (See Franklin in the video above at the 40 second mark and the 1:20 mark.)

Stand Up To Cancer launhced in 2008. The nonprofit has raised more than $80 million for cancer research. For World Cancer Day the organization is asking supporters to download an I Stand Up For placard and share their photos. It’s all about showing who you honor or remember.

World Cancer Day was founded by the Union for International Cancer Control, and their primary goal is to significantly reduce death and illness caused by cancer by 2020 through prevention, detection, and treatment.  Cancer kills more people worldwide than malaria, tuberculosis and AIDS. Over 50% of those deaths are from developing countries.

 Who do you Stand Up For?

Read the full article in Swim Swam.

Missy Franklin may add 50 freestyle, IM to her repertoire for Worlds
1/28/2013

CENTENNIAL — Missy Franklin may add to her swimming menu of the 100 and 200 freestyles and backstrokes. The 50 freestyle and individual medleys are possibilities, her Colorado Stars coach told me.

The World Championships in Barcelona are six months away and Franklin won the 50 freestyle in the opening Grand Prix meet in Minneapolis.

“It’s always been her sixth or seventh best event,” coach Todd Schmitz said. “But she’s getting stronger. We’re going to continue that. The 50 free is wide open. A lot of names are going to retire.”

A year ago, Franklin dropped the 200 IM, partially because her breaststroke and butterfly weren’t on a par with her other strokes and it was the third event of the day on the Olympics schedule. For what it’s worth, she swam an IM in Regis Jesuit High’s dual meet win over Highlands Ranch.

“This year we’re going to continue to develop it and see where it comes along,” Schmitz said. “We have two more Grand Prix stops. We’ll see how it progresses.”

All Franklin knows is she’ll defend her world championship in the 200 backstroke, where she broke the world record in London, and hopes to add a world title in the 100 backstroke, her other individual Olympic gold medal.

She didn’t medal in the 100 and 200 freestyles in London.

“My freestyles, I wasn’t real happy with how I finished this summer so it’s going to be great practice to get on a world championship stage and see where I am this time around,” Franklin said. “That has been a huge motivator at practice.”

As for the individual medley?

“We’ll see,” she said. “I don’t know at this point. With everything going on it might be too much to add. There are a lot better American IMers than me. We’re just going to concentrate on the back and free.”

But, she added, “I don’t like specializing. I think it would be fun to improve my breast and butterfly.”

She also said she has no idea what she’ll swim in the state high school meet.

Read the full article in The Denver Post.

Peyton Manning, Missy Franklin up for honors on Cartoon Network
1/28/2013

Two Colorado athletes — and one team mascot — are in the running to be honored in the Cartoon Network’s third annual Hall of Game Awards.

The awards will be determined by visitors to the network’s website, where they can pick the winner in more than a dozen categories.

Colorado’s competitors for the prizes are:

• Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, who’s paired with brother Eli Manning of the New York Giants in the category of “Super Siblings.” The category recognizes the best related athletes. The Mannings are up against Pau and Marc Gasol of the NBA, Eric, Marc, Jordan and Jared Staal of the NHL and Venus and Serena Williams of the Women’s Tennis Association.

• Missy Franklin, the gold medalist from last year’s Olympics who now swims for Regis Jesuit High School, is in the running for “Gnarliest Newcomer.” She’s competing for the award for top rookie against Robert Griffin III of the Washington Redskins, Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts and Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels.

• “Rocky,” the mascot for the Denver Nuggets, is up for the award for “Most Awesome Mascot,” competing against “KC Wolf” of the Kansas City Chiefs, “Louie” of the St. Louis Blues and “Lou Seal” of the San Francisco Giants.

The Hall of Game Awards will be broadcast Feb. 11 at 5 p.m. Denver time. Cartoon Network is part of Turner Broadcasting System.

Read the full article in the Denver Business Journal.

Missy Franklin back in school, still on national stage as American idol
1/28/2013

CENTENNIAL — If you want to see how the screeches of 17,000 teenage girls can mimic the roaring hum of a jet engine, go to a Justin Bieber concert. About the only event that can match it is the appearance of a young lady who is approaching Bieber in the teen icon department.

Missy Franklin went to last month's Bieber concert and received VIP parking. When she approached the area, Bieber's breathlessly waiting fans had turned their attention from one teen idol to another.

"MISSY! MISSY!" they screamed. Police, part of a security detail that has become nearly omnipresent with Franklin, told her, "We'll take you in!"

"No," Franklin said. "I've got 15 minutes."

So, before meeting and seeing one of her favorite singers perform live, the 17-year-old winner of four Olympic gold medals and a bronze stood in the Pepsi Center parking lot and posed for pictures and signed every autograph.

"Everybody said, 'Be prepared until October. After October, everything dies,' " said her mother, D.A. "Well, it hasn't."

Missy Franklin still has a laugh so loud it startles the birds sitting peacefully in the trees covering her suburban neighborhood. This week marks the six-month anniversary of her remarkable run at the London Olympics. Besides her five medals, she became the fastest 200 backstroker in history and won honors ranging from world female swimmer of the year to Glamour magazine's woman of the year. She has gone from the "New Face of American Swimming" a year ago to a global icon. She has transcended age groups.

Yet her happiness doesn't pertain to the five medals she keeps in a security box but totes on nearly every trip for people to see. It's primarily for the boxes of mail that are stacked in her kitchen, making the Franklins always look like they're moving.

They are children's letters in crayon. They're congratulations from ex-Olympians, such as Suzanne Zimmerman, the silver medalist in the backstroke in 1948. There are hats, dolls, coffee mugs. One person sent her a box of jerky, for crying out loud.

Some of the mail is creepy. She gets letters, all of which D.A. screens, from prisoners. But the amount is massive. Every week she goes to her Regis Jesuit High School's main office and brings home another box. Some are sent through USA Swimming, some straight to the Franklin's home. On weekends, the scholastic All-American will spend six to seven hours answering mail or signing pictures to place in oversized $1 envelopes. Her parents foot the bill.

"The mail is not overwhelming," she said. "It's so exciting. It's so special for people to take time out of their crazy schedule to write to me. The letters they write are so incredible. It makes this whole thing worth it."

Franklin is sitting on her couch in skinny jeans, a white sweater and her mismatched socks. Wearing a string of white pearls, she looks older than a senior in high school.

Then she laughs, big billowing bursts of hilarity while regaling stories of dancing in the Olympic ready rooms or fashion stress at the Golden Goggle Awards. Then she's again the 17-year-old still in awe from meeting Leonard DiCaprio and Ben Affleck at the Golden Globes.

Being an Olympian is one thing. Being the most-decorated female Olympian in London and beaming through the cameras after every race placed Franklin in the hearts of fans worldwide.

London opened doors to the world. The Jay Leno Show. Glamour magazine photo shoot. Grand marshal of the Fiesta Bowl parade. She's even getting certified to scuba dive for "The Current," a film about disabled scuba divers that begins filming in Bimini in March.

"The people I've been able to meet are so cool," she said. "Incredible other athletes. I've met my favorite singers, my favorite actors and actresses. I've been able to go to all these incredible events in Hollywood and New York."

Franklin uses the words "incredible" and "unbelievable" like other teenage girls use "like" and "whatever." The world still astonishes her while she astonishes the world.

Part of it is her stranglehold on the normal lifestyle of a 17-year-old. She turned down a seven-figure
Missy Franklin and her Alaskan Malamute, Ruger. sits down to an interview on Thursday. ( John Leyba, The Denver Post)
contract to swim for Regis Jesuit and sign a letter-of-intent with California. She went to her winter formal with her girlfriends this weekend and has a dress picked out for her prom.

"She's the same person I met her freshman year at 14," Regis Jesuit athletic director John Koslosky said. "Amazingly, we've been able to continue an environment for her to get the most enjoyment out of Regis. She's being a normal kid who loves school and kids treat her like other kids. With the craziness around in her life and the quietness and nature of our school, she feels like one of the girls."

At 17, this is her first rodeo. Yet she hasn't gotten fat on the banquet circuit. Her coach for the Colorado Stars, Todd Schmitz, gives her workouts for every one of her trips. On her two days in Hollywood for the Gold Meets Golden event, where U.S. gold medalists met Golden Globe nominees, she put in two-hour workouts that Saturday and Sunday.

Schmitz has sent many swimmers on college recruiting trips. With each one he hands out a workout.

"I already know in my head that they're lucky to hit the water even once," Schmitz said. "I knew when I gave Missy her workouts, on her recruiting trips they knew they'd better set aside some pool time or she's not going to be happy."

Missy has picked up where she left off in London. In Grand Prix meets in Minneapolis and Austin, Texas, she won nine of her 11 events, ranging from the 50 freestyle and 200 individual medley, which might be added to her world championships schedule, to her 200 backstroke specialty.

"What really helps me is the only reason I'm at those banquets is because of my training and the hard work and effort I've put in and everything that's followed is because of that," Franklin said. "Sometimes it's just not possible to make it happen, but most of the time if you want to make it happen, you can make it happen."

She made it happen in London. Six months later, she is for everyone around her.

John Henderson: 303-954-1299, jhenderson@denverpost.com or twitter.com/johnhendersondp

On the circuit

Just some of Missy Franklin's post-Olympics appearances:

Aug. 15-16: Jay Leno, Los Angeles
Aug. 23-26: "Access Hollywood," NBC's "Today" show, Arthur Ashe Kids Day in New York
Sept. 9: Coin toss at Broncos game
Sept. 17-19: Filming for cameo role in "The Internship," San Francisco
Sept. 20: Glamour magazine photo shoot
Oct. 9: People magazine interview
Nov. 12-13: Glamour magazine Women of the Year Gala, New York
Nov. 17-20: Golden Goggle Awards, New York
Dec. 29: Grand marshal Fiesta Bowl parade, Phoenix
Jan. 12: Gold Meets Golden, dinner at Spago with "Les Miserables" cast, Los Angeles
Jan. 13: Golden Globes, Los Angeles

Honorific

A look at some of the honors Missy Franklin has raked in:

USA Swimming: Swimmer of the year 2012
FINA: World swimmer of the year 2012
Swimming World: U.S. and world swimmer of the year 2012; High school swimmer of the year
Golden Goggle: Female swimmer of the year; Relay of the year
Women's Sports Foundation: Finalist sportswoman of the year
Glamour Awards: Glamour woman of the year
Colorado Sports Hall of Fame: Amateur athlete of the year
Denver Athletic Club: Athlete of the year
ESPN SportsCenter: Top athlete under 20; Scholastic All-American in swimming
Laureus Awards: Finalist female athlete of the year (announced in March in Rio de Janeiro); AAU James E. Sullivan Award (semifinals announced March)
Sports Illustrated: Nominee for most inspiring performer of the year
United States Sports Academy: Nominee for top Olympian female athlete of the year
Cartoon Network: Nominee for gnarliest newcomer (announced Feb. 11 in Los Angeles)

Read the full article in The Denver Post.

Sportscenter Names Missy Franklin Top Athlete Under the Age of 20
1/24/2013

ESPN’s popular sports highlight show Sportscenter has named Missy Franklin the top athlete in the country under the age of 20.

The 5-time Olympic medalist doesn’t even turn 18 until May, and yet is a World Record holder in four different events: the 200 backstroke in both short course and long course, plus the 400 medley relay over both distances.

She beat out Texas A&M quarterback Johnny “Football” Manziel (who apparently still qualifies despite turning 20 in December), the winner of the 2012 Heisman Trophy as the best college football player in the nation. He was the first freshman to ever win that award. In third was New Orleans Hornets basketballer Anthony Davis, an Olympic gold medalist himself as a member of Team USA, who was the number one pick overall in last year’s NBA draft.

Franklin, who is actually the same height or taller than the footballer Manziel, has been nominated for many awards since her impressive Olympic run, but has lost out on many to gymnast Gabby Douglas, who at only 17 was surprisingly not in this top 3.

This piece coincides with the release earlier this month of ESPN’s NEXT issue that identifies young athletes at both the professional and amateur level who are living up to the hype.

ESPN will likely run the piece on Sportscenter, which begins about every hour on the hour through tomorrow morning.

Read the full article in Swim Swam.

Missy Franklin's Success Propelled Lawryn Scott into Competitive Swimming
1/22/2013

PHOENIX, Arizona, January 21. IT is often difficult to realize the widespread influence a person has. Missy Franklin's Olympic accomplishments and all-around natural talent in the pool are easy to recognize. Harder is recognizing the impact Franklin, as a public figure, has on other young girls.

At this weekend's Austin Arena Grand Prix, there was a special young lady cheering Franklin on in the crowd. Lawryn Scott, and her mother, Jaqueline, drove seven hours from Shreveport, Louisiana to watch Lawryn's idol swim. Franklin's swimming success inspired 13-year-old Lawryn to pursue competitive swimming.


"She's always been shy of her height, and has always been bigger than all of the kids," Jaqueline told Swimming World about her nearly six-foot-tall daughter. "Watching Missy Franklin, [Lawryn] saw that she also had size 13 feet. It started building her self esteem, and she wanted to be like her."

Swimming has not always been a part of the Scott family. Jacqueline, an attorney who pulled herself up from an impoverished childhood in Shreveport, talks about how she would avoid the local swimming pool as a child because of a high number of drowning incidents in her community.

"Years ago, I built a swimming pool and I didn't know how to swim," she said. "The reason I had not learned how to swim myself was because there were so many kids that [had] drowned in my community."

Drowning statistics are shockingly high among African-American children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children ages 5-14 are nearly three times more likely to drown than white children. This is exacerbated by the fact that, according to a 2010 study conducted by the USA Swimming Foundation and the University of Memphis, nearly 70 percent of African-American children do not know how to swim. Olympic gold medalist Cullen Jones, now a major figurehead in USA Swimming Foundation's Make a Splash campaign, which promotes the importance of swim lessons for young children, was only placed into swim lessons after he nearly drowned at age 5.

In fact, one of the reasons Jaqueline built her backyard pool was to prompt herself and Lawryn into swim lessons. "I wanted to learn how to swim myself. Before I allowed [Lawryn] to swim, I had to learn to swim as well as she."

So the Scotts joined a local swim school and took lessons; shortly thereafter, Lawyrn felt the urge to take her swimming farther.

"She wanted to become competitive," Jaqueline explained. "So she started watching Missy Franklin swim."

Jaqueline hoped that one day her daughter would have an opportunity to meet Franklin in person.

"When I learned that [Franklin] was going to be in Austin, I was thinking, 'Lawryn, she's going to be close!' I never thought she would have the opportunity to meet her, and I wanted her to."

So the Scotts planned their road trip to Austin on Saturday, January 19, 2013. They watched Franklin win titles: first in the 200 freestyle, and then in her signature 200 backstroke, which Franklin set the world record in at the London Olympics.

"It was really exciting," Lawryn said about meeting Franklin and watching her compete. "I was really happy because she's inspired me so much. She's such a good swimmer and is so sweet."

The Scotts met Franklin and her family after Saturday's preliminary session. "We got some cute photos and so did Lawryn's mom," Franklin's mom, DA, told Swimming World. "She cried when the girls met ... Lovely people!"

"Missy meeting her this weekend has really inspired Lawryn and boosted her self-esteem because [Franklin] is so tall," Jaqueline said. "It's been difficult because everybody thinks [Lawryn] is much older and they treat her like she is much older."

Lawryn is nearly as tall as 6-foot-1 Franklin. Franklin has previously told media that her height "...has helped me so much. God has blessed me with an excellent swimmer's body." Apart from her height, Franklin's feet have also drawn a considerable amount of media attention. Yahoo! Sports devoted an entire article in August to detailing the notice Franklin's size-13 feet drew in London.

Lawryn has begun to accept her own body, realizing that Franklin's size allows her to do incredible things in the pool. In fact, Franklin's dad has even said that his daughter's feet are "...built-in flippers."

"She makes me want to work harder and be better in swimming," Lawryn told Swimming World via phone en route to swim practice.

Besides their size-13 feet, there's one more similarity between the two young ladies: a talent in backstroke. Says Lawryn: "My favorite stroke is breaststroke, but honestly I'm better at backstroke."

Perhaps one day Lawryn will be answering media questions about how her size-13 feet helped her succeed in swimming. But for now, recognizing the impact Missy Franklin's stardom had on a young lady struggling with her body is inspiration enough.

Read the full story on Swimming World Magazine.

Franklin wins 200 backstroke, 200 free in Austin
1/22/2013

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Olympian Missy Franklin won the 200-meter backstroke after taking the 200 freestyle at the Austin Grand Prix on Saturday night, with Nathan Adrian winning his second title of the meet.

Franklin set a meet record in the 200 back, touching first in 2 minutes, 7.31 seconds and lowering the old mark of 2:07.59 set by Kirsty Coventry. Hilary Caldwell was second at 2:12.13 and Miyuki Takemura finished third in 2:13.74.

Earlier, Franklin won the 200 free in 1:57.69. Quinn Carrozza was second in 1:59.42 and Barbara Jardin finished third at 1:59.98. It was Franklin's third title in two days, having won the 100 free on Friday.

Adrian won the 50 free in 21.70 seconds to go with his earlier title in the men's 100 free. Fellow Olympians Anthony Ervin and Jimmy Feigen both touched in 22.43.

Amanda Weir won the women's 50 free in 25.53.

Ricky Berens won the 200 free by holding off a field that included fellow Olympians Ryan Lochte and Conor Dwyer. Berens finished in 1:48.39. Michael Klueh was second at 1:49.48, while Lochte was third at 1:50.19.

Tyler Clary won the 400 individual medley in 4:20.36, which was nearly 7 seconds faster than his time in the morning preliminaries.

Matt Grevers shaved 8 seconds off of his prelim time to win 200 back in 1:58.84. Clary was second in 2:01.02.

The three-day meet ends Sunday.

Read the full article in Sports Illustrated.

Missy Franklin off to strong start at Austin Grand Prix
1/22/2013

 AUSTIN, Texas - Nathan Adrian and Missy Franklin won gold in the 100-meter free at the Austin Grand Prix at the Lee & Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center on Friday.

Adrian set the pool record in the 100 free, finishing in 48.32 seconds.

Matt Biondi held the previous record with 48.42 set in 1988.

Adrian dominated the field as fellow Olympians Ricky Berens and Jimmy Feigen finished in second and third, respectively. Berens finished in 49.35 and Feigen in 50.01.

Franklin won the first event of the evening, the women's 100 free in a time of 54.68. Simone Manuel took second place in 55.52, with Nathalie Lindborg from rounding out the top three in 56.16.

Read the full article at 9News.

‘She’s so good for Colorado’: Missy Franklin rejoins her Regis Jesuit team
1/17/2013

 Missy Franklin kicked off her first local meet of the season much like she ended her last one at the London Olympics: with her hand on her heart singing the National Anthem.

OK, there were a few differences.

This time she wasn’t competing against the world’s elite, in the most high-tech of facilities, amid great international fanfare–and she didn’t have a gold medal around her neck. Still, the 17-year-old simply couldn’t imagine not swimming with her high school team during her senior year at Regis Jesuit in Aurora.

On Jan. 8, the five-time Olympic medalist joined the 75 other girls that make up the squad for a dual meet against Highlands Ranch. It was held in the unassuming pool that sits in a bubble behind the school, crammed with a few bleachers and covered with state title banners. About 300 parents and classmates came to watch.

“One of the best parts about staying amateur is I’m still able to do things like this,” Franklin said after the meet. “I have given up so much for that.”

Franklin chose to maintain amateur status following her Olympic success, forfeiting millions of dollars in endorsement deals, and committed to swim at the University of California Berkeley next year. Recently she also decided to swim with Regis Jesuit this season: a decision she didn’t take lightly.

“I totally understand that (some people) are concerned that I can take attention away, and it’s totally true,” she said. “I feel so guilty whenever that happens. ... I want to make the sport better, definitely not take away from it at all.”

Regis Jesuit coach Nick Frasersmith has heard nothing but positive comments since she made the decision.

“She’s so good for Colorado ... our athletes ... our swimmers,” he said. “She brings the level of swimming up in Colorado; that’s who Missy is, and that’s what swimming and high school sports are about: working for your teammates and enjoying it.”

She has given so much to the school that has given so much to her, he said.

“Some of the girls have been friends of hers since 10 or 11 years old, so she’s grown up swimming with them,” he said. “It just feels natural for her to want to be a part of (the team).

Franklin agreed.

“I’m so happy,” she said flashing that familiar smile. “The second I made the decision, I felt a hundred times better, just being able to work out with my friends and spend time with them. You get so close to a swim team because you go through so much together.

“To be here with them, my senior year, my last year at Regis, means so much.”

Franklin handily won two individual events: 200 individual medley and 500 freestyle; as well as swam lead-off in two winning relays: 200 and 400 free relays. On Jan. 15 she participated in a dual meet against Cherry Creek and Feb. 8-9 she will compete in the 5A state championships in Fort Collins. Sixteen team members in all have turned in state-qualifying performances: 14 swimmers and two divers.

“It was so awesome to come back to my first high school meet in what feels like forever,” Franklin gushed. “My Regis sisters are absolutely incredible.”

Read the full article in the Denver Catholic Register.

Olympian Missy Franklin competes for Regis Jesuit in final high school dual
1/16/2013

AURORA — At age 76, Dick Katte, who coached Denver Christian High School boys basketball for 52 years — 48 as head coach — and won eight state championships along with a state-record 876 victories, had never witnessed a girls swimming and diving meet.

But he was there Tuesday, when host Regis Jesuit and Olympic champion Missy Franklin swam in a dual meet against Cherry Creek.

"She embodies everything about what a student-athlete on our level should be," Katte said. "I had to come see her."

Retired from teaching and coaching after more than three decades, Margo Patinos, who taught basketball great Quinn Buckner when he was a schoolboy in Illinois before she settled at nearby Smoky Hill,
Missy Franklin of Regis Jesuit. (Hyoung Chang, The Denver Post)
headed near the corner of Arapahoe and Parker roads. Her reason?

"I wanted to see the Olympian," Patinos said.

So did dozens of grade-school girls, who crept well within splashing distance of the lane Franklin glided in and led the Raiders to a dual-meet win over the Bruins, who lost for just their 19th time in 38 years. Throw in handfuls of other observers who crowded into a packed bubble over the Regis Jesuit pool among the regular allotment of parents on senior night, and the unique spectacle of a five-time Olympic medal winner (four golds and a bronze) competing as a high-schooler in her final home meet continued.

Franklin's schedule didn't permit postmeet interviews — she raced to practice for the Grand Prix this weekend in Austin, Texas — on her next-to-last appearance as a schoolgirl. She won't swim again as a Raider until the state meet next month in Fort Collins.

With Franklin having qualified in all individual races save for the 100-yard backstroke and butterfly, Raiders coach Nick Frasersmith said he will place his ace accordingly in two solo and two relay races.

Nina Painton, whose daughter, Lindsay, is a Raiders freshman, called Franklin "a role model," even in the wake of a Wall Street Journal article that questioned why Franklin continued to swim as a high-schooler and contained negative quotes from those in and around the Cherry Creek program.

However, longtime Bruins coach Eric Craven said the story "was taken out of context" and that Franklin "doing this is good for our sport."

Franklin's mother, D.A., didn't want to elaborate on it but allowed that "Missy's OK with it." The Franklin family had anticipated debate.

Frasersmith said he "didn't understand it." Franklin has been with the Raiders all four seasons, he said, "and sometimes I think people want to bring someone else down."

Regis senior Marielle Renehan said "when you see her after meets and getting her photo taken, it's kind of weird to see your friend in the limelight like that." But, she added, "she won her gold medals and is as much a part of our team as the rest of us."

Read the full article and watch the video at The Denver Post.

Video: Missy Franklin swims high school meet
1/16/2013

Six months after swimming in front of a worldwide TV audience and winning four Olympic gold medals to become the golden girl of the London Olympics, Missy Franklin found herself Tuesday swimming against Cherry Creek High School.

Read the full article and watch the video at The Denver Post.

Lt. Gov. Garcia launches public book selection process for One Book 4 Colorado
1/14/2013

DENVER –Monday, Jan.14, 2013 – Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia announced the launch today of the public book selection process for this year’s One Book 4 Colorado. One Book 4 Colorado (OB4C) is a statewide initiative aiming to support family reading at home and instill a love of learning in Colorado youngsters.

“One Book 4 Colorado puts books in the hands of children and helps inspire a culture of reading in their homes,” said Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia. “We’re excited to kick-off the program by inviting Coloradans of all ages to help us select this year’s book. One Book 4 Colorado is just one way for communities to come together to teach children how to read.”
The public is encouraged to visit the OB4C website and vote for their favorite book. This year’s top three book choices are: Duck on a Bike, by David Shannon; Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale; by Mo Willems; and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault.

Guest celebrities reading in English include Gov. John Hickenlooper, Missy Franklin, Colorado Olympic gold medalist and Kenneth Faried, power forward, Denver Nuggets. Celebrities reading in Spanish include Veronica Figoli, chief community engagement officer for Denver Public Schools, Benilda Samuels, vice president, communications & marketing for Mile High United Way and Maria Rozman, news director/news anchor, Telemundo Denver, NBC Universal. Coloradans can view these videos specially produced by Rocky Mountain PBS and vote for this year’s book by visiting www.onebook4colorado.org.

Public input as part of the book selection process will be accepted through Jan. 31. In picking this year’s book, the OB4C steering committee will consider the public’s input along with recommendations from educators and program partners. The winning title will be unveiled at the OB4C opening event on May 6.

One Book 4 Colorado is the result of collaboration between Reach Out and Read Colorado, Colorado State Library, Denver Preschool Program, public libraries, the private sector, and the foundation community. It is modeled after the successful Preschool One Book One Denver program originated by the Denver Preschool Program and presented by Denver Public Library, Arts and Venues Denver, and Reach Out and Read Colorado. Both programs are premised on the idea that providing young children with access to quality books promotes early literacy and helps families serve as their children’s first and most important teachers.

More than 70,000 copies of the same book will be distributed to children across Colorado at local library events, at Reach Out and Read clinics and doctors’ offices, and through participating preschools. The book will be available in both English and Spanish and will be accessible to children with special needs. A statewide book distribution of the selected book and a multitude of family literacy events will take place May 6-20, coinciding with Colorado Literacy Week.

For more information about One Book 4 Colorado, visit www.onebook4colorado.org.

Missy Franklin Named Colorado Amateur Athlete of the Year; Bonnie Brandon Wins HS Award
1/14/2013

American Olympic superstar Missy Franklin has been honored as the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame’s 2012 Amateur Athlete of the Year, the organization announced today. This is the second-straight year she took the honor, after winning last year.

She was joined in the honor by Peyton Manning, the quarterback of the Denver Broncos who was named the Professional Athlete of the Year after leading the team to the best record in the NFL in his first year at the helm of the team.

Chalk up another honor for Franklin, who was named the Athlete of the Year at the USAS Convention, the Golden Goggles Swimmer of the Year honor, and a Swammy for Record Breaking Performance of the Year. She’s been nominated for several other awards as well, though she gymnast Gabby Douglas has come away with many of those.

For Franklin to win this award is no small task, considering that the USOC and the Olympic Training Center are headquartered in the state.

Arizona freshman Bonnie Brandon, who had a number of great battles with Franklin at last year’s HS State Championship meet, was honored as the female high school athlete of the year. The tall backstroker (sound familiar?) swam for Regis rivals Cherry Creek. She set two state records at the CHSAA championship meet in the spring in the 200 IM (1:59.09) and 500 free (4:43.52 – 8 seconds off of her old record). That capped her career with 14 state titles.

She then took a silver medal in the 200 back at the 2012 Short Course World Championships in December.

Other award winners:

    Collegiate Athletes Shalaya Kipp (Colorado track/cross-country) and Ross Dausin (CSU-Pueblo football)
    HS Athletes of the Year: Bonnie Brandon (Cherry Creek swimming) and Wilkins Dismuke (Rock Canyon lacrosse)
    Disabled Athlete of the Year Lacey Henderson (National Sports Center for the Disabled).

Read the full article in Swim Swam.

Missy Franklin swims high school meet for first time since Olympic golds
1/9/2013

AURORA — Six months after swimming in front of a worldwide TV audience and winning four Olympic gold medals to become the golden girl of the London Olympics, Missy Franklin found herself Tuesday swimming against Highlands Ranch High School.

In Regis Jesuit High's bubble. Attendance: however many people fill four rows of bleachers.

Franklin returned to her prep roots, dropping down from her status as the fastest female 200 backstroker who ever lived to Regis Jesuit High's fifth dual meet. She didn't suppress a single yawn.

Actually, it was just the opposite.

"I was so nervous before this meet," said Franklin after swimming four events to lead Regis Jesuit to a win. "I have no idea why. I was literally intensely shaking in the locker room. All my teammates were like, 'What is wrong with you?' "

She could blame Justin Bieber.

She received a meet-and-greet pass to see one of her favorite musicians at his Pepsi Center concert Monday night. They talked for 15 minutes, and then she spent much of the night watching other spectators in the stands crawl over Joe Sakic in her row to take her picture.

She got home at midnight, then woke at 4 for her morning workout. The meet was part of her training leading up to the world championships in Barcelona, Spain, but she qualified in four events for the state meet: winning the 200-yard individual medley in 2:02.10 and the 500 freestyle in 4:57.71, then qualifying in the 50 freestyle with a 23.36 opening relay leg and the 100 freestyle with a 51.51 opening relay leg.

Franklin swimming high school meets is a little like Anthony Bourdain cooking in the Regis Jesuit cafeteria.

The past attention she received caused parents of opposing swimmers to gripe.

The senior, who broke the world record in the 200-meter backstroke in London, almost didn't swim for Regis Jesuit. One motive made her do it.

"I want to make the sport better, and definitely not take away from it at all," she said. "And that's what made the decision so hard: the comments. That's not their fault at all. They're giving their opinion, and I totally understand that.

"They are concerned I take attention away. It's totally true. I feel so guilty whenever that happens, but I hope the pros outweigh the cons."

The pros were evident. Besides nearly half the Highlands Ranch team posing for pictures with her after the race, they got attention they wouldn't get otherwise.

Sure, her jet stream nearly swept opponents onto the pool deck. In the 500, she lapped all but one swimmer and won the 200 IM by 20 seconds. But for the rest of their lives, these swimmers can say they swam against a four-time Olympic gold medalist.

"I was shocked," said Highlands Ranch freshman Shawna Doughten, who finished 2:03.37 behind Franklin in the 500. "She was really fast. She lapped me three or four times.

"But I was encouraged. She makes you think anyone can do it. It was a lot more fun than a regular meet."

Regis Jesuit coach Nick Frasersmith said he's heard nothing but positive comments from opposing coaches and swimmers. And it's an added plus to have an Olympian heading into your state meet.

Read the full article in The Denver Post.

Missy Franklin begins final swim season for Regis Jesuit
1/9/2013

AURORA, Colorado - Senior swimmer Missy Franklin started her final season for Regis Jesuit High School in a meet this afternoon.

The 4-time Olympic medalist competed in two individual races and two relay races that she and her teammates won handily over Highlands Ranch and Cherry Creek.

Franklin will swim another league meet this month and the Colorado State Championships before graduating from High School in a couple of months.

She has committed to swim for the University of California at Berkeley next year.

Read the full article and watch the video at 9News.

Photos: Missy Franklin Swims For Regis vs Highlands Ranch
1/9/2013

Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin of Regis Jesuit HS swam in a meet against Highlands Ranch at Regis Jesuit swimming pool on Tuesday January 8, 2013.

Six months after swimming in front of a worldwide TV audience and winning four Olympic gold medals to become the golden girl of the London Olympics, Missy Franklin found herself Tuesday swimming against Highlands Ranch High School.

Read more: Missy Franklin swims high school meet for first time since Olympic gold – The Denver Post.

Broncos' Peyton Manning, swimmer Missy Franklin named athletes of year
1/8/2013

The Colorado Sports Hall of Fame has selected Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning and Olympic swimmer Missy Franklin as its professional and amateur athletes of the year, the selection committee announced Tuesday.

Franklin, who won four golds and a bronze at the 2012 London Olympics, was named the Hall's 2011 amateur of the year as well. The senior at Regis High won gold in the 100-meter and 200-meter individual backstroke, the 800-meter freestyle and 400-meter medley relays and bronze in the 400-meter freestyle relay.

Manning joined the Broncos in the offseason and has led the team to the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs after a 13-3 season, which ended with an 11-game win streak.

Other athlete-of-the-year selections were: collegiate standouts Shalaya Kipp (Colorado track and cross country) and Ross Dausin (CSU-Pueblo football); high school honorees Bonnie Brandon (Cherry Creek swimming) and Wilkins Dismuke (Rock Canyon lacrosse); and disabled athlete Lacey Henderson (National Sports Center for the Disabled).

All will be honored April 18 at a banquet at the Marriott Denver City Center (tickets are $175) along with the newest Colorado Sports Hall of Fame inductees Steve Atwater, Don Baylor, Don Cockroft, Adam Foote, Steve Jones and Stan Williams. The Hall of Fame Class was selected this past October.

Read the full article at The Denver Post.

Arena Grand Prix Money List: Missy Franklin, Ryan Lochte Early Leaders
1/8/2013

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado, January 7. WITH news that USA Swimming and Arena have agreed to a new race-earning process to divvy up $150,000 in new prize money for the Arena Grand Prix Series, it is time for a new updated Money List to track the overall prize-earners!

PRIZE MONEY BREAKDOWN
The Arena Grand Prix is scheduled to deliver $150,000 in race earnings during the six-meet series. First-place finishes garner $500, while second-place outings pick up $300 each. Meanwhile, third-place efforts score $100 for $900 in each event swum at an Olympic distance, or its SCY equivalent.

USA Swimming announced the prize money change from $20,000 to a single grand prize winner in the previous iterations, and confirmed to Swimming World that the money will be awarded retroactively to swimmers from the Minneapolis Grand Prix in November. That's nearly $25,000 in instant earnings available right now.

Swimmers wishing to protect their NCAA eligibility do not accept winnings as direct compensation. However, for the sake of complete accuracy, we have included the money that each swimmer has earned.

Read the full article at Swimming World Magazine.

Missy Franklin Caps Whirlwind Week in Arizona with Tostitos Fiesta Bowl
1/8/2013

PHOENIX, Arizona, January 7. MESSING up the coin toss was Missy Franklin's biggest fear as Grand Marshall of the 42nd annual Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.

"I was up in the suite practicing tossing the coin," Franklin told Swimming World over the phone before she boarded a plane back to Colorado. "I was so worried that I would flip it wrong and, like, hit one of the captains in the eye."

Fortunately for Franklin, she didn't have to actually flip the coin, which she described as "...about four times bigger than a regular quarter."

"The referee had me just hold the coin and then give it to him to do the actual toss," Franklin explained. "I was like, thank you so much!"

The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl capped off a whirlwind week for the Olympian. Franklin bounced between Colorado and Arizona several times from Dec. 28 -- Jan. 4, to fulfill her responsibilities as Grand Marshall of the Fiesta Bowl Parade. Several highlights included being honored by the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, and meeting Jan Brewer, the governor of Arizona.

Surprisingly, Franklin's numerous appearances and responsibilities as Grand Marshall weren't the most exhausting aspect of the high school senior's trip; it was the couple of morning swim practices she snuck in with Scottsdale Aquatic Club (SAC) that really sapped her energy.

"They are in holiday training now," she said. "The practices were really hard, so I guess that kind of took away from, like, the vacation part of [the trip]."

Getting in practices wherever and whenever she can is now the norm for the four-time Olympic gold medalist. After all, she is -- technically -- in the middle of high school swim season at Regis Jesuit in Aurora, Colorado. In fact, Franklin is so connected to her high school that Father Philip Steele, the president of Regis Jesuit, accompanied the Franklin family, and Franklin's Colorado Stars coach Todd Schmitz to Arizona for the Bowl game.

"My family, Todd, and Father Steele all came on the field with me for the coin toss," Franklin said.

Even though Franklin is loyal to her high school, college football is a different matter. The self-proclaimed college football fan found her loyalties torn during the actual game.

"I was actually cheering for both teams," she explained. "I like that Oregon is in the PAC-12 [Conference], since I'm going to Berkeley next year, but the quarterback of [Kansas] State is actually from Colorado."

Oregon ended up with a 35-17 win over Kansas State, but the ever-cheerful Franklin felt that "both teams played really well."

Perhaps Franklin's only regret from the trip was her inability to soak up the Arizona sun. "I tried to get tan, but it's just something I've never been able to do," she said with a laugh. "I don't get tan lines... I get white lines."

Despite her pigmentation problems, Franklin enjoyed her trip to the Valley of the Sun. In between appearances and practices, she had some time to spend checking out shops in Scottsdale and Phoenix with her mom, DA.

"Everyone went out of their way to make us feel welcome," she said. Franklin will surely be welcomed back whenever she pleases.

Read the full article at Swimming World Magazine.

Missy Franklin and Michael Phelps Do It Again: FINA Names Them World Swimmers of the Year
1/7/2013

LAUSANNE, Switzerland, January 4. ONE month after being named World Swimmers of the Year by Swimming World Magazine, Missy Franklin and Michael Phelps were given the same honor by FINA in its list of top aquatic athletes released today.

Franklin and Phelps both led all athletes in the pool in the London Olympics in their respective genders in terms of medals won. Franklin took home five medals (four gold, one bronze) while Phelps nabbed six medals (four gold, two silver).

FINA's picks for top athletes in open water, diving, synchronized swimming and water polo nearly mirrored Swimming World's picks, which were detailed in the December 2012 issue.

FINA's open water swimmers of the year: Ous Mellouli (Tunisia) and Eva Risztov (Hungary), both Olympic champions in the 10K swim in London

FINA's divers of the year: Ilya Zakharov (Russia), Olympic individual 3-meter champion; Wu Minxia (China), double Olympic champion in individual and synchro 3-meter

FINA's synchronized swimmer of the year: Natalia Ishchenko (Russia), double gold medalist in duet and team competitions

FINA's water polo players of the year: Josip Pavic (Croatia) and Maggie Steffens (USA), both part of gold medal-winning teams

Swimming World made a couple of different choices from FINA's list, giving the female diver of the year honor to China's Chen Ruolin, the Olympic champion in the individual and synchro platform events. Croatia's Maro Jokovic was awarded the male water polo player of the year by Swimming World.

Read the full article in Swimming World Magazine.

Elite athletes enjoy competing at high school level
1/4/2013

When Bruce Springsteen sang of has-beens and their glory days, surely he did not mean kids like Missy Franklin. And no, not because the single was released 10 years before she was born.

As it turns out, Franklin and the handful of teenagers like her who have experienced glory in the form of world records and international fame before they're old enough to vote don't typically walk around the halls of their high schools wearing their Olympic medals.

But some, like bronze medalist Lia Neal, a senior at the Convent of the Sacred Heart School in Manhattan, N.Y., proudly sport their school swim team sweatshirts.

The hunger to be "normal" is why Franklin -- she of the five Olympic medals (four of them gold) -- turned down an estimated $5 million in endorsements to compete for her high school's swim team this year and the University of California next year. And it is also why, ironically, no one was more worried about returning to the Regis Jesuit pool than Franklin.

Well aware of the logistical circus created by her past participation in high school swim meets, and the suggestion that she might be taking anything away from her teammates or competitors, the 17-year-old's list of pros and cons for going back this year had plenty of cons.

"Missy felt just sick about it, terrible," said Franklin's mother, D.A. "She felt, 'High school swimming is a place where I can relax and just be Missy, be with my friends on the team and in the state, just have fun and enjoy it.' … She didn't want it to be The Missy Show."

Causing a stir

Even before her epic performance in London this summer, there was an onslaught of attention. When Franklin's all-girls Catholic high school in Aurora, Colo., qualified for the state meet last season, some parents of opposing competitors initially couldn't get tickets. Franklin required a police escort to news conferences and was asked to pose for pictures and sign autographs while standing at the blocks before races.

And though there was just a smattering of resentment outwardly expressed, it still stung.

"Love you Missy, but just to ask . . . Why bother?" wrote powderhoundMJ in the comment section of a Denver Post story on Nov. 28. "That's like me going to my kids' elementary school field day and challenging them in the 50-yard dash. You're going to win by pool lengths, not body lengths."

Or, from The KIMN Chicken, "I'd hate to be the girl that finishes second in the state meet. Seems kind of ridiculous for her to swim against kids that have no chance … "

In the end, however, with the support of Regis Jesuit athletic director John Koslosky, her high school coach Nick Frasersmith and the same teammates and competitors she was afraid to offend and inconvenience, Franklin answered the "Why bother?" question. She decided to rejoin her high school teammates, calling them "my sisters."

Once she was convinced the logistical mess would be worked out, Koslosky helped seal the deal with his top 10 reasons Missy should return to her high school pool.

"Ultimately, it comes down to: Do you want to be part of that team one last time, with girls who you lived your whole life with, before you all go off to college?" Koslosky said. "From a swimming standpoint, does she really need it? Probably not. But as for the human part … you only go to high school once."

Not the only one

While Franklin's accomplishments surely make her a unique example of an elite athlete electing to compete for her high school, there are others. U.S. Olympic teammates Katie Ledecky, 15 -- a gold medalist in London and a sophomore at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in Bethesda, Md. -- and Neal are also currently swimming for their high school teams.

Neal has competed on her varsity team since middle school and set two personal bests while competing in high school, one of which (100-yard breaststroke) still stands. She will swim a full schedule this season while training in the same pool with her club team.

"I asked her club coach, 'Look, give me a heads-up when it's time to stop high school swimming and we'll clearly understand," said Brad Dexter, Neal's high school coach. "But she said as long as she was still having fun and still wanted to do it, they supported it."

The fun, say those who have competed on both a prep and elite level, is paramount.

"It's totally an honor to compete at a high level, but it was a cool thing for me being able to play in high school," U.S. Olympic field hockey player Katelyn Falgowski said.

Now 24, Falgowski was on the U.S. World Cup team while playing for St. Mark's High School in Wilmington, Del., and competed in the Beijing Games just after graduation.

"When you're younger and competing at a high level, you tend to be a lot younger than the athletes around you and your life can be hectic," she said. "In high school, you get to compete with your best friends around you and it can provide normalcy."

Falgowski's Olympic teammate Katie O'Donnell, now 24 and at the University of Maryland, played for the U.S. senior national team at 16 while also competing for Wissahickon High School in Ambler, Pa. Like other elite athletes juggling their travel schedules, O'Donnell found playing for her high school team made her considerably busier.

"But that was always the treat coming home," O'Donnell said. "You got to play with friends and peers, and other students in your class were able to watch you. The nice thing about being a high school student is that even if you're Missy Franklin with all of her amazing accomplishments, she's still the same person to her friends when she goes back home. It's nice when you can fit right back in when you go back to school."

What's fair?

The idea that it's unfair for an Olympic-caliber athlete to compete on a high school level strikes the Franklins as being just as unfair.

One parent of an opposing swimmer, D.A. Franklin recalled, approached her last year and asked her to "talk to Missy to have her not continue so the other girls can have their day to shine, since Missy has so many other opportunities to shine.

    “When you're younger and competing at a high level, you tend to be a lot younger than the athletes around you and your life can be hectic. In high school, you get to compete with your best friends around you and it can provide normalcy.” -- Katelyn Falgowski, U.S. field hockey player

"I explained to her that Missy was 16 and that it was really, really important to her to be with her team and swim with the girls she knows and loves, the way she always has in Colorado," Franklin said.

"We received so much support that it outweighed any negative comments we heard. But with the negative ones … I think they lose sight that Missy is just like their child."

Franklin points out that with outside obligations, Missy often had to skip things like school dances and sleepovers that other kids enjoy. "I feel I need to remind people, she misses out on so much, please don't take something else from her," she said.

Gymnast Blaine Wilson was a three-time Olympian (1996, 2000 and '04) and silver medalist, won five consecutive national all-around titles and competed for his high school team. He is outraged by the attitude that somehow being too good should preclude an athlete's participation with his peers.

"That's garbage," said Wilson, 38, who owns his own gym outside Columbus, Ohio. "Unfortunately, we live in a day and age where my daughter is 10 and they don't keep score in her games. But everyone knows. It teaches them to be average. It's no good for our culture; it's no good for anybody.

"I'd say to those parents [who have a problem with Olympians like Franklin competing against their kids in high school], 'Hey, if you want to catch her, put your kids in more swimming classes.' My son is 3 and plays soccer, and if he gets destroyed by a club team when he's older and says, 'Dad, it's unfair,' I'd say 'If you want to play with them, get better.' If a kid who excels wants to play in high school, by all means they should do it."

Koslosky was equally apoplectic.

"As an athletic director, I deal with 14 different sports and in every sport, every state has a best kid," he said. "LeBron James was built like a man, but do you penalize these top athletes for wanting to represent their school at the highest level they can compete at that time? If the Olympics were during high school swimming, of course Missy would go to the Olympics. But the weekend of the state meet, she will be a senior in high school and that will be the highest level she can compete in at that time.

"If people like Missy back away and you're the girl who wins the state championship in the 100 backstroke, isn't there an asterisk, 'Yes, but Missy didn't swim'? By the same token, wouldn't it be awesome to say 'I came in second to Missy Franklin'? That's a better story to tell your grandchildren."

Being a part of something

Wilson's high school team won four straight state titles, though he did not make his first Olympic team until after he arrived at Ohio State. "I turned down going pro, which would've meant $75,000, to go back to college so I could win one more national championship for Ohio State," said Wilson, who won six individual NCAA titles while helping the Buckeyes to three team titles.

He competed in high school because Ohio schools had strong gymnastics programs at the time but also, Wilson said, because of the tradition.

"I went to the same high school [St. Francis DeSales in Columbus] as both my parents," he said. "All my aunts and uncles and cousins on both sides went there. That history was important to me. I was proud to be a part of it.

"We didn't mature until later, so at that time, you didn't know [if you were good enough for the Olympics]. We got up at six in the morning to train, but we also went to school dances and football games on Friday nights. We were pretty normal."

Wilson had three fellow club gymnasts on his high school team. But the idea that one athlete, even one of Olympic caliber, can carry a team to a state championship rubs some the wrong way.

"It's nice for me to be able to put some other girls who may not be the fastest on Katie's relay teams, because they'd never get that opportunity," said Ledecky's high school coach, Bob Walker. "Likewise though, when other teams come in, there's a target on our back that they can put together the four fastest girls and Katie can only control 25 percent of the race."

As Frasersmith said: "One swimmer does not a team championship make."

Ledecky's and Franklin's high school coaches also point out that both girls' relay teams have been beaten, and Regis Jesuit has won just one state title with Franklin, who can only swim in four events. Falgowski said her high school field hockey team finished last in its division one season.

Another thing to keep in mind, said Todd Schmitz, Franklin's Colorado Stars club team coach, is that "You're not dealing with ideal race conditions in high school meets." The scenarios that add to the high school experience -- like the lack of a warm-up and warm-down, the size and depth of a pool and the fact that elite swimmers do not taper for high school meets -- only adds to the pressure that they turn in world-class times.

"Missy told me, 'I know everyone is going to be expecting me to break records, so I'm going to have to really dig deep,'" Franklin's father, Dick, said. "She's living with that too." And that's considering the fact that Missy did not take a notable break after the Olympics and is still training six hours a day.

The notion that somehow she can get away with performing at less than 100 percent and still win easily, said her coaches and both D.A. and Dick Franklin, a former Canadian Football League player, is simply not a consideration.

"No way she ever does anything other than her best," Dick said. "It's very innate and she has always been that way, that it doesn't matter whether it's [12-time Olympic medalist] Natalie Coughlin next to you or Susan Smith from Heritage Greens High, or whether two million people are watching you or 20, it's always about swimming your personal best and leaving it all in the pool. Missy has been like that since she was 5 years old.

"If someone thought she was dogging it, that would be an insult to all her teammates and competition."

Building the team

Franklin's, Ledecky's and Neal's high school coaches said swimming next to Olympians often raises the level of their teammates' performances.

"Missy brings incredible talent to us, obviously," Frasersmith said, "but to be honest, it's probably one of the last reasons I want her back. It's what she brings to the team as far as personality. I think the world has basically gotten to know Missy, what she's about and what she stands for, and that's exactly what she is. What you see is what you get. She's a team player through and through. And when she's in the pool racing, I know our team wants to step up and swim faster."

That team feeling is something Olympic swimmer and two-time medalist Elizabeth Beisel said she coveted while competing for North Kingstown High School in Rhode Island for four years.

Beisel, now 20 and an NCAA champion for the University of Florida, was 15 and the youngest member of the 2008 U.S. Swimming team when she made her Olympic debut, and remembers her club coach allowing her to be a kid.

"I'd go back and forth but she'd let me skip club practice for pasta dinners with the high school team and team-bonding things," Beisel said. "And it was really fun because it was so much different than club swimming. It was such a low-pressure thing for me. It was easier to relax and have fun with friends. It was much more enjoyable."

Like the others, Beisel said she also remained loyal to her high school team.

"I definitely did it because I loved it," she said. "But I also did it to show how thankful I was for how much North Kingstown High School did for me, allowing me to miss so much school for the Olympics and traveling all the time, and a great way to do it was by competing for them."

Franklin's participation in high school meets over the last three years has helped bring more exposure to Colorado swimming. This year, the payback is a more emotional one.

"Colorado has been damn good to us, very supportive," Dick said. "We've had a lot of help from everyone in the city and state, and a lot of people have not had the chance to see Missy swim.

"She'll be leaving for California in August and could spend the next decade in California. She could be out of Colorado, period. For our neighbors and friends to see her swim one last time in person, there's a certain poetry in that. It's gratifying to everyone for her to complete that cycle."

Read the full article in ESPNW.

Missy Franklin Takes Arizona By Storm as Grand Marshal of Fort McDowell Fiesta Bowl Parade
1/4/2013

PHOENIX, Arizona, December 29. MISSY Franklin descended upon sunny Arizona to marshal today's Fort McDowell Fiesta Bowl Parade. The parade is held five days before the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl on January 3, in Glendale, Arizona, in which No. 4 Oregon will compete against No. 5 Kansas State.

Franklin, a self-proclaimed fan of college football, was named Grand Marshall of the parade in early September. She follows in the footsteps of a number of Olympians to have previously received the honor, including Janet Evans, following the 1988 Olympics, and Arizona natives Gary Hall Jr. and Misty Hyman, who marshaled following the 2000 Olympics.

"It is an honor to join a list of U.S. Olympians who have been a part of the Fiesta Bowl Parade," Franklin said in regards to receiving the honor.

The 2.5-mile parade route ran this morning through central Phoenix. Colleges, universities and high schools locally and from around the nation sent marching bands and performers to march in the parade.

Last night, Franklin attended a VIP reception in preparation for the morning's parade. She spoke before a number of influential members of the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation and parade participants, including Yavapai Nation President Clinton Pattea. The Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation is the title sponsor of the Fiesta Bowl Parade.

Other Olympians to serve as Grand Marshal include Frank Shorter in 1976, Kristi Yamaguchi in 1992, Charles Barkley in 1994, Kerri Strug in 1996 and Jennie Finch in 2004.

At the Fiesta Bowl football game on January 3, Franklin will participate in several pre-game festivities, including the coin toss.

Read the full article in Swimming World Magazine.

Photos: 2012 Year In Photos By The Denver Post Photographers
1/4/2013

A look back at 2012 with the best photos by The Denver Post photography staff.

After winning the meet, Regis's Missy Franklin, center, celebrates with fellow teammates as the Regis Jesuit High School girls swim team take on the Cherry Creek High School girls at Regis High School in Aurora on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012.

Read the full article in The Denver Post.

Missy Franklin Named One of the Top Ten Best Communicators of 2012
12/19/2012

3. Missy Franklin – Genuine Gold

We knew she could swim, but Missy Franklin really won our hearts with her communicating.  This Olympian’s unabashed smile defines her, yet she carries a confidence rarely seen in seventeen year olds. We use the term ‘humble confidence’ in our coaching, and she’s a prime example of it, not unlike Buster Posey (who made our list in 2010). Franklin’s personality shines in the Call Me Maybe spoof she organized for the entire swim team – it had over 10 million hits. She is already a pro at interviews – but never as great as after winning the gold in the 100M backstroke – her poolside interview (at 3:19) showed her emotion and depth as she said how important it was for her parents to see her victory. An audience can sense real vs. fake – and Missy is as real as it gets. These are the athletes we want our kids to have as role models.

Read the full article on Decker's website.

Missy Franklin gets Key to the City
12/14/2012

Missy Franklin can add “Centennial key holder” to her list of accomplishments.

The star athlete and Olympic gold medalist was given the official Key to the City last week by Centennial Mayor Cathy Noon.

“This is such an honor. Thank you so much. It means the world to me,” the 17-year-old swimmer told the audience at the Dec. 3 City Council meeting. “Centennial has been my home basically my entire life, and I definitely don’t think I would have been able to get through this summer and everything I’ve gone through without the support of this city and this state.”

Franklin, a senior at Regis
Jesuit High School, won a total of five medals – four of them gold – at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. She also holds two world records in the 200-meter backstroke, among other official accomplishments.

The swimmer thanked Centennial locals for keeping the faith this summer during her Olympic debut, in which she swept the women’s backstroke events and earned Swimming World’s World Swimmer of the Year.

“It’s just been absolutely incredible to know that no matter what happens overseas or in China or London that I’m going to come home to a state that’s going to be proud of me. That means more to me than I can say,” Franklin said.

This was the first Key to the City granted by 11-year-old Centennial. Noon noted that the tradition dates back to medieval Europe, where trusted dignitaries were sometimes given literal keys to walled cities.

“The Key to the City has always turned out to be something that’s given to someone who’s done something outstanding for the city – or for just who they are or what they do,” the mayor said to Franklin. “In this case, Missy, you’re all those things. You’ve done something outstanding for our city. You are a wonderful role model to our youth.”

After Noon extolled Franklin’s contributions as a Centennial resident, someone in the audience proclaimed, “It takes a city to raise a child!”

“I think her parents get most of the credit for raising her,” the mayor responded with a laugh. “We just provided a nice neighborhood.”

Read the full article in The Villager.

Girl Power On a High As Allyson Felix, Missy Franklin, Lindsey Vonn, Serena Williams and Gabby Douglas Lead American Nominations For 2013 Laureus Awards
12/14/2012

MOST DECORATED OLYMPIAN MICHAEL PHELPS ALSO SHORTLISTED AS U.S. WIN EIGHT NOMINATIONS

US Olympic Team and Miami Heat make it a Laureus basketball double
Laureus Nominees are chosen by the votes of the world’s sports media
Laureus World Sports Awards to be held in Rio de Janeiro on March 11
For video content see www.digitalnewsagency.com/laureus


RIO DE JANEIRO – Five of the United States’ greatest sportswomen have been nominated for the 2013 Laureus World Sports Awards. Gabby Douglas, Allyson Felix, Missy Franklin, Lindsey Vonn and Serena Williams have all been shortlisted following a vote by the world’s media.

Legendary swimmer Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time with a career total of 22 medals, has also been nominated, along with Miami Heat and the US Men’s Olympic Basketball Team.

The Laureus World Sports Awards, which recognise sporting achievement during the calendar year 2012, are the premier honours on the international sporting calendar. The winners, as voted by the Laureus World Sports Academy, the ultimate sports jury, made up of 46 of the greatest sportsmen and sportswomen of all time, will be unveiled at a globally televised Awards Ceremony staged in Rio de Janeiro on March 11.

Proceeds from the Laureus World Sports Awards directly benefit and underpin the work of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, which supports more than 100 community sports projects around the world. Since its inception, Laureus has raised over €55 million for projects which have improved the lives of more than one-and-a-half million young people.

America’s golden girls dominate the Nominations for the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Award this year. Allyson Felix, who won 200 metres, 4 x 100 metres and 4 x 400 metres Olympic gold medals, swimming sensation Missy Franklin, who at the age of 17, won four gold medals and a bronze, and Serena Williams, who won Wimbledon, the US Open and Olympic gold medals in singles and doubles, are all shortlisted, along with Lindsey Vonn, who won her fourth overall skiing World Cup in five years. The only non-Americans in the category are Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who successfully defended her 100 metres Olympic title, and Britain’s Jessica Ennis, who won the heptathlon gold medal.

Michael Phelps, who won four gold and two silver medals in London and became the first man ever to defend an Olympic title – 100m butterfly and 200m medley – at three Olympiads, is nominated for the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award with three other impressive Olympians - Usain Bolt, who repeated his success in Beijing by winning gold medals in all three sprint events in London, Mo Farah, winner of the 5,000 metres and 10,000 metres double, and Bradley Wiggins, winner of the Tour de France and the Olympic Time Trial. Also nominated in the Sportsman’s category are FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, who scored a remarkable 86 goals in 2012, and Germany’s Sebastian Vettel, who won his third straight Formula One World Championship.

In a great basketball double, Miami Heat, who won their second NBA title, and the US Men’s Olympic Team, who won their 14th gold medal in London, are shortlisted as Laureus World Team of the Year. They will be up against the Spain Football Team, winners in 2011, who are nominated again following their European Championship victory, along with the European Ryder Cup Team, who beat the US after an amazing final day fightback at Medinah, the dominant China Olympic Table Tennis Team and Red Bull, who won the Formula One World Constructors Championship for a third straight year.

Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas has been nominated for the Laureus Breakthrough of the Year Award, along with British tennis player Andy Murray, French swimmer Yannick Agnel, 400 metres Olympic gold medal winner Kirani James, China’s Ye Shiwen, 16, who won both 200 and 400 metres individual medley gold in the Olympic pool, and Brazil’s football sensation Neymar.

The Nominations were announced in Rio de Janeiro by Laureus World Sports Academy Chairman Edwin Moses and fellow Academy Member Emerson Fittipaldi, the legendary Brazilian Formula One driver.

Moses, a double Olympic champion in 400 metres hurdles, said: “I always feel in an Olympic year that you are likely to see a strong group of potential Nominees and this year is certainly a great example of that. The Laureus Sportsman of the Year Award particularly is going to be one of the closest contests ever when you look at the wonderful collection of names we have, with the likes of Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps and newcomers like Mo Farah and Bradley Wiggins. But the list goes on, in every category. This is really the crème de la crème of sport. Allyson Felix did herself a great favour this year, when she won her first individual Olympic medal. She had been shut out for the last two Olympics, so in her third Olympics to finally win a gold medal in the 200 metres was a great performance.”

And Laureus Academy Member and swimming legend Mark Spitz said: “Michael Phelps is now recognised as the most accomplished Olympic athlete if you look at the medals he has won and the records he has achieved. He has a good chance of winning. And Missy Franklin is a favourite of mine. Her athletic achievements are incredible. She’s young and she’s got a lot of potential for the future and she has such a positive attitude about how she takes her sport.”

The full list of Nominees for the 2013 Laureus World Sports Awards is:

Laureus World Sportsman of the Year
Usain Bolt (Jamaica) Athletics – won 100m, 200m and 4 x 100m Olympic gold medals in London
Mo Farah (United Kingdom) Athletics – won 5,000m and 10,000m double in Olympic Games
Lionel Messi (Argentina) Football – Barcelona star who scored 86 goals in the calendar year
Michael Phelps (United States) Swimming – became most decorated Olympian with 22 career medals
Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Motor Racing – won third straight Formula One World Championship
Bradley Wiggins (United Kingdom) Cycling – won Tour de France and Olympic Time Trial gold

Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year
Jessica Ennis (United Kingdom) Athletics – won Olympic heptathlon gold medal in London
Allyson Felix (United States) Athletics – won 200m, 4 x 100m and 4 x 400m Olympic gold medals
Missy Franklin (United States) Swimming – at 17, won four gold medals and a bronze at Olympics
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (Jamaica) Athletics – successfully defended her 100m Olympic title
Lindsey Vonn (United States) Skiing – won fourth overall skiing World Cup in five years
Serena Williams (United States) Tennis – won Wimbledon, the US Open and two Olympic gold medals

Laureus World Team of the Year
China Olympic Table Tennis Team – won all the medals they could in London - four gold and two silver.
European Ryder Cup Team (Golf) – beat American team after amazing final day fightback at Medinah
Miami Heat (United States) Basketball – beat Oklahoma Thunder to win their second NBA title
Red Bull Formula One Team (Austria) Motor Racing – won third straight Constructors Championship
Spain Men’s Football Team – won European Championship to add to World Cup 2010 and Euro 2008
United States Men’s Basketball Team - won their 14th Olympic basketball gold medal in London

Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year
Yannick Agnel (France) Swimming - at 20, in his first Olympics, won two gold and a silver medal
Gabby Douglas (United States) Gymnastics – first woman to win Olympic individual and team all-around gold
Kirani James (Grenada) Athletics – at 19, won 400m in London for Grenada’s first ever Olympic medal
Andy Murray (United Kingdom) Tennis – won first Grand Slam at US Open, plus Olympic gold and silver Neymar (Brazil) Football – often compared to the great Pelé, he scored his 100th goal at age 20
Ye Shiwen (China) Swimming – at 16, she won both Olympic 200m and 400m individual medley gold

Laureus World Comeback of the Year
Tirunesh Dibaba (Ethiopia) Athletics – won Olympic 10,000m after coming back from 16 months injury
Ernie Els (South Africa) Golf – won The Open ten years after his previous Major Championship
European Ryder Cup Team (Golf) – on last day turned match against US around for historic 14½-13½ win
Anna Meares (Australia) Cycling – four years after breaking her neck in cycle crash, she won Olympic gold
Felix Sanchez (Dominican Republic) Athletics – at 34, won 400m hurdles gold again, eight years after Athens
Germany Men’s Olympic Eights Team (Rowing) – won Olympic gold medal for first time since 1988

Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability
Patrick Anderson (Canada) Wheelchair Basketball – came out of retirement to inspire Canada to gold medal
Johanna Benson (Namibia) Athletics – in T37 200m sprint, she won Namibia’s first ever gold medal
Daniel de Faria Dias (Brazil) Swimming – won six Paralympic gold medals in London all in world records
Alan Fonteles Oliveira (Brazil) Athletics – beat favourite Oscar Pistorius to win Paralympic T44 200m gold
David Weir (United Kingdom) Wheelchair Racing – won four gold medals as ‘home’ hero of Paralympics
Alex Zanardi (Italy) Hand Cycling – won two gold medals and a silver at his first Paralympic Games

For more detailed biographies of Nominees go to www.laureus.com

Due to the close contest in the men’s 2012 World Surfing Championship possibly affecting Nominations for the Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year Award, the media voting deadline in this category has been extended until after the final event of the season, later this month in Hawaii. The names of the Nominees will be announced in due course.

The 2013 Laureus World Sports Awards Ceremony, which will be attended by the greatest names in sport, past and present, and broadcast to a worldwide TV audience, will be staged at the celebrated Theatro Municipal, a spectacular venue in the heart of Rio de Janeiro, which stages gala performances by international dancers and musicians and which also hosted events at Rio +20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in June 2012.The Laureus World Sports Awards will enhance the calendar of major global events that Rio de Janeiro is hosting in the coming years, such as the 2013 World Judo Championship, the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Rio is the birthplace of sport and culture in Brazil, a state of vibrant energy and natural beauty that has become a showcase of the country to the world. Among the winners who have received Awards at previous Awards Ceremonies have been Jenson Button, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Alex Ferguson, Lewis Hamilton, Justine Henin, Kelly Holmes, Rafael Nadal, Oscar Pistorius, Steve Redgrave, Ronaldo, Michael Schumacher, Kelly Slater, Serena Williams and Zinedine Zidane. Guests attending the Awards Ceremony have included His Majesty King Juan Carlos of Spain, HSH Prince Albert of Monaco, David and Victoria Beckham, Sean Connery, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, Morgan Freeman, Teri Hatcher, Eva Longoria, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kevin Spacey.

A VNR of the Nominations Announcement will be available for download at:
Hostname/IP Address: laureus-ftp1.iweb-ftp.co.uk
Username: laureus-lwsa13
Password: awards
For queries regarding the VNR please contact Latasha.Jastrzebski@laureus.com

For further information, please contact:
Gerald Meier,
Head of Global Communications
Tel: +44 (0)20 7514 2749
E mail: publicrelations@laureus.com
Photo Archive: www.laureusarchive.com
Video Archive: www.laureusdigital.com
Websites: www.laureus.com
Follow us on Twitter @LaureusSport

As a service to our readers, Around the Rings will provide verbatim texts of selected press releases issued by Olympic-related organizations, federations, businesses and sponsors.

These press releases appear as sent to Around the Rings and are not edited for spelling, grammar or punctuation.

Read the full article at Around the Rings.

Missy Franklin spreads cheer among sick kids at Children's Hospital
12/14/2012

Olympic swimmer Missy Franklin charmed a dozen kids at Children's Hospital Colorado on Thursday afternoon — making jokes, talking about musicians such as Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber, giving them autographs and encouraging them on their path to healing.

In the oncology ward, she quickly found common ground with 15-year-old Makenna Wallin in their mutual love for swimming. When Franklin pulled out one of the four gold medals she won in the Summer Olympics and draped it around Makenna's neck, she got a huge grin in return.

When laughter burst from the room, it turned out that Franklin was making a joke, explaining her reaction when she heard the hospital had told the kids that a secret celebrity was going to visit them.

"I was worried they were going to be expecting Brad Pitt," Franklin joked.

She traveled from room to room with her coach, Todd Schmitz, who canceled afternoon swim practice so that Missy and her teammates could dance with some of the patients at a party in the evening.

He and Franklin played off each other as they visited patients.

In the room of Skylar Nelson, 13, they talked about an upcoming Bieber concert.

"You're going, right?" Skylar asked.

"She's got it circled on her calendar," Schmitz joked.

When a kid was shy, Franklin always thought of something to say — even if it was pointing to the television program on the muted TV, asking about favorite programs.

Cynthia Lozano, 10, was not shy. Sitting on her bed in pink pants and a lavender T-shirt sparkling with rhinestones, Cynthia talked about her passion for sports, radiating a huge smile.

When Franklin heard that Cynthia loves to run marathons, she knew exactly what to say.

"Awesome!" she said. "I could never do that!"

Read the full article in The Denver Post.

Over time, Missy Franklin learned to love practice (Video)
12/13/2012
 

Before she learned that it was the ket to success, Missy Franklin hated practicing. Then, the 17-year-old said, she just wanted to go to meets and race.

“When I was little it was all about racing,” Franklin told Swimming World Magazine in an interview at the AT&T Winter Nationals. “I was seven, looking up at Todd (Schmitz), like ‘Do I really have to be here? Can I just go to the meet?’”

Franklin went on to say that she learned quickly that practice made racing at meets more fun. In order to race well, Franklin said, she learned she had to put the effort in at practice each day.

Eventually, that realization changed Franklin’s attitude about practice, she said.

“I learned … that you definitely need practice if you want to perform like you want to,” Franklin told Swimming World Magazine. “I love going to practice now and honestly I just love working hard and I love knowing I’m doing everything I can to get better.”

She added: “There’s always room for improvement, which I think is the best part of sports in general. You can never be perfect.”

Watch the video and read the article at the examiner.

Franklin on post-Games life: 'It still doesn't feel real'
12/13/2012

To understand the numerous ways Missy Franklin's life has changed since the 17-year-old won four gold medals at the 2012 London Games, one has to look no further than the master bedroom of her parents' Denver-area home.

There sits thousands of unopened envelopes and boxes, all waiting for Missy, her mom, dad, a family friend or helping neighbor to open. The thank yous, the good lucks, the congratulations, they come from all walks of life -- from grandparents and grade-school children, to adoring teenage boys and idolizing teenage girls. There are dolls, bracelets, necklaces, pictures, drawings and beef jerky. Yes, beef jerky.

"It's been unreal," Franklin said. "I mean, nobody's ever sent me beef jerky before."

Franklin's coaches, teammates and a host of folks from USA Swimming warned this might happen. They told Missy and her parents that among the things that would be different when she returned home as a star would be the mail suddenly arriving by the box. It would slow down by October, they said. But it hasn't.

Each time the Franklins start to make a dent in the pile, there's the mailman with another box or Franklin herself arriving home from school with another bag full of letters. She's a high school senior, remember. An amateur. There is no agent or marketing team or multimillion-dollar organization to process letters and send automated responses. Instead, it's a mom and pop operation -- literally.

"I am so far behind," said Missy's mom, DA Franklin. "Everything is just stacked in the master bedroom. It's a disaster. You want to get back to everybody but it's hard.

"Don't get me wrong. It's great. It's exciting. It's wonderful. But it's way beyond what we ever expected."

This, of course, is what happens when you win four gold medals and a bronze in your first Olympics and then entertain the world with your bubbly, infectious, mega-watt personality. Missy Franklin not only stood atop the podium in London more than any other swimmer not named Michael Phelps, but she did so in a genuine, endearing way that made her one of the most popular athletes of the Games.

 

One moment she was tossing her hair back and mugging for the camera in USA Swimming's "Call Me Maybe" video, and the next minute she was winning her first Olympic gold a mind-boggling 14 minutes after a preliminary swim. Ruthless in the water, charismatic and approachable out of it. This is the recipe everyone seems to love. This is why her time is now in such demand.

Since London, she's appeared on "The Tonight Show," as well as the red carpet of MTV's Video Music Awards and the Glamour Awards. She has taped a guest appearance on her favorite show, ABC Family's "Pretty Little Liars," as well as a scene in the upcoming Vince Vaughn/Owen Wilson flick "The Internship."

"It all seems insane. Totally crazy," Franklin says. "It still doesn't feel real. It's like I made the whole thing up."

Now, seemingly everywhere she goes, Franklin causes a scene. It happened at a Denver Broncos game, where this year Franklin and her parents needed security to reach their seats. And once there, the teenager was recognized as fans passed items through the section for her to sign.

"They were taking the shirts off their backs," DA said. "Literally."

Even in her own house, where her unassuming Alaskan Malamute, Ruger, helps keep things normal, life is occasionally anything but. Like a few days after London, for example, when the kitchen counter was covered in celebratory cakes that people had baked for her.

"I was like, 'Mom, what are we supposed to do with all this cake?'" Franklin said. "At one point, we had 20 cakes. The support is unreal. My fans are amazing."

At church, security now needs to be alerted when the Franklins arrive. The same thing happens when Missy goes through Denver International Airport.

"There are times where people come up and start talking for a second, I wonder, 'How do you these people know me?' And then it's like, 'Oh yeah, swimming.'"

Yeah, swimming. Don't let Franklin fool you. This was all part of her and coach Todd Schmitz's master plan; not the insanity surrounding her, but total dominance in London. At every practice and meet for the four years leading up to the Games, that was the goal.

At Olympic trials, Franklin qualified for seven events, a women's record. Then in London, while shouldering potentially crippling expectations, she set two world records and three American records while winning five medals. And she was one one-hundredth of a second away from winning a sixth medal. Even Phelps himself called her performance "incredible."

Now comes the challenge of building on that success under increased pressure, scrutiny and attention and, in the bigger picture, becoming one of the faces of the sport after the retirement of Phelps, swimming's No. 1 attraction.

"I want to take it upon myself to continue what he started and keep the popularity of the sport growing," Franklin said. "Even though it wasn't said, I feel the torch has been passed down. I feel like that's a big part of my job now."

It's a job that will undergo a major transformation next fall when Franklin enrolls as a freshman at the University of California. For the first time in more than a decade, she will swim for someone other than Schmitz, who she has worked with since she was 7. Unlike Phelps, who turned professional and worked with coach Bob Bowman his entire career, Franklin turned down millions in potential endorsement money to live the life of a college student. She'll swim for Cal coach Teri McKeever, the head coach for the U.S. women's team in London.

"It was a tough decision, but in my heart, I was meant to be a Golden Bear," Franklin said. "I'm so, so happy. I cannot wait to go there, and at the same time, that means I have to leave home. Every time [her and her parents] talk about it, we start crying."

DA Franklin said the plan is for Missy to swim collegiately for two years and then turn professional in March 2015, some 15 months before Rio 2016. At that point, she will stay at Cal and swim for McKeever's club team. The decision will allow Franklin to cash in on potential marketing opportunities before, during and after the Games.

For now, the focus is far simpler -- practice, dry-land workouts and trying to live a relatively normal teenage existence. It isn't easy. While attending the Glamour Awards in New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy, Franklin was uncomfortable that many of the emergency responders who were being honored wanted nothing more than to meet and say thank you to her. She wouldn't have it.

"I was like, 'Excuse me?'" she said. "'You're not even allowed to thank me. No way. Are you serious?'"

Instead, Franklin insisted, she should be thanking them. And so she did. It was yet another surreal moment in this strange new world.

"I just try to sit here and not lose my mind with everything that's going on," Franklin said. "I just try to appreciate every day as much as I can, and just try realize how truly blessed I am."

Read the full article in ESPN W.

Colorado sportsperson of the year? Missy Franklin bests Peyton Manning
12/12/2012

Missy Franklin vs. Peyton Manning.

The Golden Girl vs. the Golden Oldie.

One of them has to be Colorado's 2012 sportsperson of the year.

There are a few other legitimate contenders. Tad Boyle put the air back in the Colorado basketball program, winning the Pac-12 tournament and leading the Buffs to an NCAA tournament victory.

John Elway might win NFL executive of the year for his construction with the Broncos, and, of course, for bringing Manning to Colorado.

The Rockies? Well, there was Jeremy Guthrie ... oh wait, that's a different column.

So really, it comes down to Missy and Manning.

Manning has already led the Broncos to the AFC West title, is closing in on an unprecedented fifth NFL

MVP award and has Broncomaniacs checking out Expedia.com for New Orleans Super Bowl packages.

His precision passing is a wonder, his football intellect is off the charts and his salty leadership has lifted an entire franchise.

But my vote goes to the 17-year-old girl with the megawatt smile.

It's not just that she won four gold medals, and a bronze, at the Summer Olympics in London. It's not just because she is a true hometown girl, raised in Centennial and attends Regis Jesuit High. It's not just because she's now world famous and the face of the U.S. Olympic team.

She's my pick because of what she represents and how she made us feel.

We live in a cynical age where criticizing everyone and everything is considered cool. Cutting someone down to size is considered an art form. But Franklin rose above all of that, and she took us with her.

She swam with a dolphin's grace and then stood on the victory platform, with her hand over her heart, looking like a kid opening gifts on Christmas morning.

I remember when she arrived at Coors Field to throw out the first pitch before a Rockies game. Sure, she'd been on late-night TV, and yes she's been interviewed by

Matt Lauer on "The Today Show" multiple times. But she was just a nervous teenager before that first pitch, even though the week before she'd practiced with reliever Matt Belisle on a rainy day inside the gym at Regis High.

"I'm a little bit out of my element," she confessed.

But she went out in front of 30,000 people, shook off a sign, went into a goofy windup and lobbed a cotton candy strike to Belisle at home plate. The crowd roared and Missy flashed her golden grin.

"That is one great kid," Belisle said.

Read the full article in Canon City Daily Record.

Missy Franklin to appear in a movie scuba diving to help disabled
12/5/2012

Missy Franklin is famous for the innocent passion she brings to competitive swimming, but there's another kind of swimming that fills her with joy as well.

The teenage star of the London Olympics fell in love with scuba diving on a trip to Hawaii with her family in 2011. Now she is getting certified so she can go to Bimini over spring break and shoot a scene diving with dolphins for Kurt Miller's upcoming movie, "The Current."

"Oh my gosh, I am so, so excited, I cannot wait," Franklin told me recently. "My dad has been scuba diving his whole life. I've always watched him and my uncle go off on these amazing dive trips to all these incredible places, and I've always wanted to do it."

Last year Miller produced a beautiful film about disabled individuals learning to ski called "The Movement." One of the characters was Rick Finkelstein, a Hollywood executive who was paralyzed in a ski accident at Aspen in 2004.

"The Current" picks up where "The Movement" left off, showing Finkelstein and others learning to scuba dive.

Others who will be in film include:

• Bethany Hamilton, the inspiration for the movie "Soul Surfer," the true story of a girl who lost her left arm in a shark attack while surfing and returned to the sport through strong faith. She will be filmed diving with whales in Maui.

• Former Formula 1 driver Alex Zanardi (double amputee from a race crash), disabled military veteran and Coloradan Jesse Murphree and Finkelstein diving with Jean-Michel Cousteau in Cozumel.

• Anthony Robles (NCAA wrestling champion despite being born with one leg) and Mallory Weggeman (London Paralympics gold medalist) diving with Franklin.

Because she is not disabled, Franklin has the title of athlete ambassador for the film and Make a Hero, Miller's non-profit that used "The Movement" and will use "The Current" to help disabled individuals get involved in sports and recreation.

"I think it's such an incredible movie (concept)," Franklin said. "I can't believe we actually get to go to Bimini to film this movie, which I think is just going to be absolutely incredible."

Franklin's first scuba experience in Hawaii closely followed her breakout performance at the 2011 world championships in Shanghai (five medals, three gold) when she was 16.

"When you're in the ocean and you're under water, 60-70 feet deep, everything else just doesn't matter," Franklin said. "Everything else that's going on outside on land, whatever it is, you completely forget it. It's just so cool to have that feeling, just being able to escape from everything for a while, just go down and see God's creation that a lot of people don't get a chance to see how beautiful it is. And just to have that peaceful time to take it all in."

Starting Friday, Franklin and Miller will be on KBCO 97.3 FM for seven consecutive mornings soliciting nominations for deserving disabled individuals who will get to learn how to scuba dive and receive a seven-day trip for two to Cozumel.

You can watch the trailer for "The Current" at makeahero.org.

"There are so many people with disabilities in my life who inspire me," Franklin said. "There are so many incredible stories of people overcoming odds that are not overcomeable. It's just so cool to meet them and see them and just watch them do so well, watch their success.

"It's so easy to get caught up in the little things in our life that seem so huge. Some of these people don't have legs, or don't have an arm, and they are so happy. They're so confident with what they have, and they're just doing incredible, incredible feats. It's just amazing to watch."

Read the full article at The Denver Post.

Tim Tebow, Missy Franklin call accident victims after seeing #TebowCallMatt, #MissyCallBailey hashtag
12/5/2012

Say what you will about Tim Tebow's fitness to play quarterback for the New York Jets, the man knows how to spread some happiness.

We take you to Clifton Park in upstate New York, where 17-year-old Matt Hardy of Shenendehowa High School was hospitalized in a two-car accident that took the lives of two of his classmates. A fourth teenager, Bailey Wind, was also injured. The driver of the other car, who reportedly swerved in front of the students' car, failed alcohol tests, according to local reports.

The teens' friends started two Twitter hashtags, #TebowCallMatt and #MissyCallBailey, seeking to get Tebow and Olympic swimmer Missy Franklin to call their injured classmates. The Tebow hashtag went viral, trending worldwide, while the Franklin one had a similarly strong reach. The Tebow hashtag had 106,290 mentions, while the Franklin one had 42,483.

And the Twitter campaign paid off. Monday night, Tebow did indeed call Matt Hardy in his hospital room. Tebow tweeted, "Thanks to everyone who got #TebowCallMatt trending & helped connect us. Matt truly inspired me. God bless y'all."

Franklin also tried to reach Bailey, and tweeted the following message: "Called Bailey and left her a voicemail. Would still love to talk to her. Bailey and her community are in my thoughts and prayers #staystrong"

Tebow and Franklin, like most celebrities, are besieged with Twitter requests both sincere and inane. It's good to see that they were able to find a justified cause, and here's hoping their calls will bring some measure of comfort to a devastated community.

Read the full article in Yahoo! Sports.

Missy Franklin reflects on her "insane" year
12/4/2012

WAYNE DREHS: You arrived in London a 17-year-old full of promise and left a five-time Olympic medalist. Does it seem crazy when you think back now?
MISSY FRANKLIN: It seems insane, like I made the whole thing up. When I pull my medals out at the airport, I sort of sit back and realize, I'm taking an Olympic gold medal through security. And it's my Olympic gold medal.

DREHS: Where do you keep them?
FRANKLIN: My trainer wanted to see them. So I was like, "Dad, where are my medals?" He told me he had put them in a safe-deposit box. I'm like, "Were you going to discuss this with me? They're my medals. You need to tell me what you're doing with them." He just smiled. Of course he was right.

DREHS: You get mail by the boxload now. Anybody ask you on a date?
FRANKLIN:One boy sent me flowers and left his number. I called him and said, "Thank you, this is very sweet, but my schedule is quite busy right now."

DREHS: Wait. You called him?
FRANKLIN: He went through all of that trouble to send me flowers ... of course I'm going to call him and thank him!

DREHS: Justin Bieber sent you a care package. Despite having Bieber Fever, you sent it back. Why?
FRANKLIN: It was really sweet of him. But it was considered a form of special treatment that could have jeopardized my amateur status. I've given up way too much and sacrificed too much to keep a Justin Bieber T-shirt and lose it all.

DREHS: You decided to swim collegiately at Cal, turning down potentially millions in endorsement money. Why?
FRANKLIN: College swimming can help me mature as an athlete. Oh my gosh, I have so much to learn as a swimmer and a person. My underwaters aren't anywhere near where I want them to be. I'm a pretty strong puller, but my kicking is weak. I can't wait to go to Cal next fall, but that means I'll be leaving home. And every time we talk about that my parents and I start crying.

Read the full article in ESPN.

SwimmingWorld.TV Video: Swimming World's World Female Swimmer of the Year, Missy Franklin
12/3/2012

AUSTIN, Texas, December 1. MISSY Franklin had a memorable day, and not just in the pool at the 2012 USA Swimming winter nationals. In addition to her fast swims in Austin, she talks about the honor of earning her first World Female Swimmer of the Year from Swimming World Magazine.

Franklin nearly broke Elizabeth Pelton's American record in the 200-yard backstroke tonight, and talks about the excitement she feels about working on the details she'll need to focus on in order to break the record. She also said she enjoys the task of swimming back-to-back events, as she did tonight, and how she is able to get physically and mentally ready for each race.

Read the full article and watch the video at Swimming World Magazine.

Girls' swimming season preview: Franklin, Olympics success spur growth of region's swim teams
12/3/2012
THE GAZETTE

Much has happened in the sports of girls’ swimming since Cheyenne Mountain’s Sydney Buckley won the 4A state championship in the 100 butterfly.

That same early February weekend, Colorado’s own Missy Franklin set a state record and won two individual titles at the 5A state meet in front of a packed house in Fort Collins. She later broke the world record in the 200-meter backstroke at the London Games, part of a historic performance in which the women’s national team bagged 13 medals, including eight golds.

Even months after closing ceremonies, excitement from the Summer Games still seems to be rubbing off on Pikes Peak-area girls’ swimming teams. It’s more popular than ever to be a swimmer, as evidenced by the bump in the numbers as the season gets into full swing this week.

“It’s always exciting after the Olympic Games, and we’ve definitely seen a spike this year,” third-year Coronado coach Katie Baker said. “With everything on TV, the swimming really piqued the girls’ interests. We have 10 freshmen this year, and eight of those have never swam before. We have the advantage this year of having people excited and pumped up about Olympic swimming, and it’s carried into the schools.”

Buckley enters her senior season as the reigning champion, feeling motivation from her team, the desire to defend along with the prevailing energy surging from the Olympics.

“Swimming is a sport that gets forgotten sometimes, but the Olympics bring it back,” Buckley said. “When I watch Olympic swimming, I get goose bumps and get really nervous. I sometimes yell at the TV. When I’m in the pool, I know I have to work my hardest to stay on top, just like they do.”

Of course, having Franklin return to swim for her high school team will keep girls’ swimming very much in the news until the state meet in February.

“All these girls have someone in their own state, with Missy, and they have someone to look up to,” Cheyenne Mountain coach Kate Doane said. “I lot of these girls idolize her, and it’s a good things for Colorado swimming across the board. I know we have the largest team we’ve ever had at Cheyenne Mountain. We have 53, and last year we had between 38 and 42. It’s definitely up.”

While Lewis-Palmer coach Alan Arata didn’t notice a roster increase on his team, he didn’t discount the impact that Franklin and the women’s team have made in Colorado high schools.

“There’s always a post-Olympic bump, no question,” Arata said. “We had the same excitement after Michael Phelps won his eight golds in Beijing (in 2008). There were so many great women’s performances at the Olympics, not just Missy. The whole team did great things. I’d say that has to be a pretty big factor to what we’re seeing around here.”

And for a minute or two, Buckley pondered what it would have been like to swim next to Franklin at Edora Pool Ice Center, with the cameras popping and audience ready to explode with one of the all-time greats of our time ready to perform again.

“I’ve swam against her before in club,” Buckley said. “She’s really intense, but any chance to swim with those great girls would be awesome. It wouldn’t matter what place I got.”

Franklin finishes Winter Nationals with third title
12/3/2012

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Olympian Missy Franklin won the 200-yard backstroke for her third title and Kevin Cordes set an American record in winning the 200 breaststroke at the Winter Nationals on Saturday night.

Franklin, who finished second and third in her other races at the three-day meet, was timed in 1 minute, 49.18 seconds, just off the American record of 1:49.16 set by Elizabeth Pelton last year. Bonnie Brandon finished second in 1:51.49 and Kylie Stewart took third.

Cordes flirted with the American record in the morning preliminaries, and then blew it away by going 1:50.73 in the final. Olympian Clark Burckle took second in 1:51.20 and Mike Alexandrov, the former record holder, was third in 1:52.24.

Cordes set an American record in winning the 100 breast on Friday night, when he also beat the same two swimmers in the last major U.S. swim meet of the year at the University of Texas.

Olympian Katie Ledecky won the 1,650 freestyle in 15:28.36, the second-fastest time ever. Haley Anderson was second in 15:55.91 and Lindsay Vroom finished third.

In the 100 free, Margo Geer won her first national title in 47.16 seconds. Franklin, who was swimming about 12 minutes after winning the 200 back, was second in 47.60. Olivia Smoliga was third.

Olympian Matt Grevers won his second title in two days, taking the 100 free in 41.71. Joao De Lucca touched second in 42.05 and Olympian Ricky Berens was third.

Franklin won the meet's high point award for women, while Grevers and Ryan Murphy tied for the men's award. Grevers won the performance award for his American-record time in the 100 backstroke Friday.

Swimming World Magazine December Reveal: Michael Phelps and Missy Franklin Reign as 2012 Swimmers of the Year
12/3/2012

PHOENIX, Arizona, November 30. EVERY December, Swimming World Magazine devotes an issue to honoring the World and Regional Swimmers of the Year. This year, Americans Missy Franklin and Michael Phelps swept the World and American Swimmers of the Year awards, earning them top billing and the Swimming World Magazine cover.

Every year, the awards are voted on by a panel of international Swimming World correspondents. Watch the following Inside Swimming World Magazine video to hear the regional award winners, along with winners for all the aquatic sports outside of swimming.

Read the article and watch the video at Swimming World Magazine.

Cal Signees Swim at Winter National Championships
11/29/2012

AUSTIN - California's impact on the sport of women's swimming will be on display this week in the AT&T Winter National Championships, which will include Golden Bear recruits Missy Franklin, Celina Li and Abi Speers competing in the meet from Thursday, Nov. 29, through Saturday, Dec. 1, at the University of Texas. The action begins with preliminary heats at 9 a.m. CT and ends with finals beginning at 5 p.m. CT each day at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center.

Winter nationals is a short-course yards meet - the same format as collegiate competitions - and current and former Bears currently hold records in various events swum in short-course yards. While Franklin, the multiple Olympic gold medalist, has set her share of records in long-course and short-course meter races, she does not currently have any records in short-course yards; neither do Li nor Speers.

On Thursday, Franklin and Li will face off in the 200-yard individual medley. Current Golden Bear All-American Caitlin Leverenz set the American and U.S. Open record of 1:51.77 when she won the NCAA title in that event last March. Afterwards, Franklin and Speers will swim the 50-yard freestyle - with Cal legend Natalie Coughlin holding the meet record of 21.46 in that race.

Friday will start off with Li racing in the 400-yard IM; Leverenz set the 400-yard IM American record of 3:57.89 when taking second at 2012 NCAAs. Franklin's first race of the day will be the 200 freestyle against soon-to-be teammate Li. Alumna and Olympic gold medalist Dana Vollmer set the meet record (1:42.26) in the 200 free when she won the 2009 title at the U.S. Short-Course National Championships.

In Friday's 100-yard backstroke, Franklin and Li will once again face off. Franklin won the Olympic gold medal in the 100-meter back last summer in London, but Coughlin's dominance still looms large in the 100-yard back, for which she holds American (49.97), U.S. Open (49.97) and meet (50.64) records. The Cal great clocked that 49.97 in 2002 when winning her second of three straight NCAA titles in that event.

Cal freshman Elizabeth Pelton'sAmerican record (1:49.16) in the 200-yard back might be in jeopardy on Saturday considering that Franklin won a gold medal in the long-course version of the event in London and set the world record (2:00.03) in the short-course 200-meter back. Li and Franklin will face off for the last time at winter nationals in the 100 free. Coughlin holds both the American (46.84) and meet (46.85) records for this event.

The last event of the day that includes a future Bear is Li's race in the 200-yard butterfly. It is the only event in which a future Bear is racing that a current Bear or Cal alumna does not hold some type of record, though Cal icon Mary T. Meagher still holds the U.S. Open record (2:05.96) in the long-course 200-meter version of this race. She set that mark in 1981.

The current Bears return to action on Friday, Nov. 30, on the first day of the Georgia Fall Invitational in Athens, Ga.

Read the full article on the University of California website.

Missy Franklin Says “Yes” to One More High School Season
11/28/2012

In what had become an intense debate in the state of Colorado (at least among those in the high school swimming circuit), Missy Franklin has decided to go for one more season of high school swimming, finishing out her senior year for Regis Jesuit while still training for next summer’s World Championships.

After she swam through her junior year despite Olympic preparations, one can imagine the intensity that isn’t usually present at high school swimming meets. Media at every one, press conferences, police escorts through throngs of giddy fans, and even an ESPN3 broadcast of the State Championship meet; all of this jammed into small, high school pools with no media staff to control the onslaught.

That can be a lot of pressure in a high school schedule where meets are every week, or even more frequent. Franklin, though, after much personal reflection, has stuck true to her desires to be a part of a team – which is the reason why she didn’t turn pro before experience two years of college swimming at Cal first.

Franklin will take a shot at breaking some National High School Records this year; as hard as it is to believe, she doesn’t hold a single overall record (though she does have the Independent School marks in the 100 free, 200 free, and 100 backstroke). If the Minnesota Grand Prix a few weeks ago are any indication, she could very well break all three of those records this year, and perhaps the 50 free as well if given the opportunity.

The Colorado 5A HS State Championship meet will be held February 8th and 9th at the same pool it was in last year, EPIC in Fort Collins, Colorado. Wednesday is the first date that Colorado girls’ teams are allowed to hold official meets, and Nick Frasersmith’s squad begin tonight with a big meet against Chaparral.

This year’s schedule has two matchups with archrivals Cherry Creek: January 15th and 21st. Cherry Creek was 2nd at last year’s State Championship meet and Regis Jesuit was 3rd. Regis won’t have an in-season dual against Fossil Ridge, the defending (surprise) champions.

The full Regis Jesuit schedule is below.

11/20/2012 4:00 pm  Intrasquad Regis Jesuit  
11/28/2012 4:00 pm Chaparral Regis Jesuit  
12/4/2012 4:00 pm Mtn Vista Regis Jesuit  
12/10/2012 4:00 pm Legend Regis Jesuit  
12/11/2012 4:00 pm Rock Canyon Rock Canyon  
12/15/2012 All day Colorado Coaches Invite VMAC, Thornton  
1/8/2013 4:00 pm Highlands Ranch Regis Jesuit  
1/11/2013 4:00 pm Valor Invite- Diving TBD  
1/12/2013 All Day Valor Invite- Swimming Co School of Mines  
1/15/2013 4:30 pm Cherry Creek Regis Jesuit  
1/22/2013 4:00 pm Heritage Heritage  
1/21/2012 9:00 am Cherry Creek Regis Jesuit  
1/25/2012 6:00 pm C League – Swimming Regis Jesuit  
1/25/2013 5:30 pm B&C League Diving Littleton  
1/26/2012 11:00 am B-League  Swimming Heritage  
2/1/2012 4:30 pm A-League  Swimming Pre-lims Heritage  
2/2/2012 8:30 am A- League Diving Littleton  
2/2/2012 3:00 pm A-League Swimming Finals Heritage  
2/08/2012 TBA State Swimming Prelims EPIC, Ft. Collins  
2/09/2012 TBA State Diving Prelims EPIC, Ft. Collins  
2/09/2012 TBA State Swimming and Diving Finals Epic, Ft. Collins

Read the full article in Swim Swam.

Missy Franklin Looking Forward to One More High School Swim Season at Regis Jesuit
11/28/2012

AURORA, Colorado, November 28. NOT long after choosing UC-Berkeley as her college home, Missy Franklin had another tough decision to make: to swim or not to swim for Regis Jesuit High School for one more season.

With pressure mounting from all sides, Franklin decided this week to participate in the Colorado high school season, after weeks of weighing the pros and cons. Parents of other high school swimmers complained that Franklin's participation in last season's high school championships caused standing room-only attendance that kept many parents out of the main pool arena, forced instead to watch their swimmers on a TV screen in an overflow room. But Franklin had insisted all along that she wanted to compete with her team at Regis, getting a thrill out of racing with her classmates.

"I'm so excited to be swimming some high school meets with my sisters at Regis Jesuit," Franklin told Swimming World today. "It will be so much fun to finish my Colorado swimming (years) with these wonderful friends and teammates. It's one of the perfect ways to end my four years at Regis."

As with last season, Franklin will not compete in every meet on Regis' schedule. She only swam in one dual meet, as well as the regional and state championships, and Regis athletic director John Koslosky told the Denver Post that Franklin could take on the same schedule this season.

The first dual meet for the Regis Raiders is today against Chaparral, but Franklin won't be there. She's attending the USA Swimming nationals in Austin, Texas, where she's entered in six events.

All eyes will be on Franklin's performances at the state meet in February, where she will be chasing her own national independent high school records in the 100 free, 200 free and 100 back. The overall national high school records in those events could be in jeopardy as well, though Franklin will have to work harder to combat the effects of altitude. The state meet will be held February 8 and 9 at the Edora Pool Ice Center, which stands at 5,500 feet above sea level.

Read the full article in Swimming World Magazine.

Olympian Missy Franklin decides to swim for Regis Jesuit High School
11/28/2012

AURORA — It's confirmed: Missy Franklin, four-time Olympic gold medalist, will swim for her Regis Jesuit High School team this winter.

According to Raiders athletic director John Koslosky, Franklin, who also won a bronze medal this past summer in London, won't be there Wednesday, when Colorado's second scholastic season opens, but she will participate in an abbreviated schedule.

"She's doing this because of her team, her school and the other girls who swim in high school," Koslosky said. "And she wants to. They all want her there."

A year ago, Franklin swam an abbreviated schedule of a dual meet, a league gathering and the state championships in Fort Collins, so, as Koslosky said, "Don't expect to show up at a Regis Jesuit meet and expect to see her."

Franklin, whose traveling and appearances increased significantly after her Olympic performance, undoubtedly won't appear as a Raider until after the holidays. And when she does, expect some kind of significant shield by the Raiders. Koslosky and school officials learned a bit last season, when Franklin rejoined her team and attracted major attention.

"It will be limited," he said. "Last year, there were all sorts of cameras everywhere. ... Missy was concerned about it, and I think that's what made her struggle in making this decision. But she said she wanted to pass on turning pro and attend college, and she signed to do that, and she said she wants to swim with her teammates and her school."

Koslosky also said he will consult with the Colorado High School Activities Association for the Franklin-attended Raiders meets as well as for state.

"I think it's great," he said.

Read the full article in The Denver Post.

Missy Franklin visits MHS for cover photo shoot
11/28/2012

It’s not every day that a bona fide superstar makes an appearance at Mile High Sports, but that’s exactly what happened today when swimming great Missy Franklin stopped by for a photo shoot.

Fresh off her standout performance at the Summer Olympics in London, the 17-year-old swimming champion will be featured on an upcoming cover of Mile High Sports Magazine. Will it be January’s Mile High Sports Awards edition, February’s High School Rankings issue or something else in 2013?

Read the full article in Mile High Sports.

Missy Franklin Serves Up Thanksgiving Dinners To Those In Need
11/26/2012

DENVER (CBS4) – Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin was quick to share a smile while dishing out Thanksgiving meals to people in need. She hopes her name will bring awareness to the area’s homeless problem.

Franklin hopes her name will help draw attention to Samaritan House, a local homeless shelter. She joined volunteers from the Westin and Sheraton hotels to serve a Thanksgiving meal to those without.

“Being here I thought is so fun because I get to meet incredible people. I’m able to kind of give back as much as I can,” Franklin said

They served dinner to more than 200 people in need and Franklin was honored to help.

“Just put a smile on people’s faces. I think that’s what Thanksgiving is all about and I think as a community Colorado needs to be thankful for each other,” she said.

“All the children of our volunteers, they were like a little gaggle of Missy lovers and they were standing there in awe of her and she signed every single autograph,” volunteer Susan Stiff said.

While having an Olympic medalist serve them Thanksgiving dinner is a treat in itself, Franklin did not want the day to be about her.

“I’m kind of trying to get away from that a little bit today. I don’t really want to be here as a celebrity. I want to be here as just myself and hopefully that’s enough to make people smile,” she said.

PHOTO GALLERY: Missy Franklin’s Whirlwind Post-Olympics Tour

Franklin was all smiles, grinning from ear to ear, as she served up mashed potatoes and stuffing. She hopes to pass on her happiness to those around her.

“I’m very, very fortunate and there aren’t as many people as fortunate as I am and I just want to share my happiness with everyone else.”

It was the 11th year Samaritan House has served Thanksgiving dinner to Denver’s homeless. Franklin hopes to join them again next year.

Read the full article in CBS Denver.