With the 2012 Summer Olympic Games less than one month away, Rant Sports is shining the spotlight on some of the amazing athletes who will be representing the United States of America in London.
Yesterday, we featured American swimmer, Ryan Lochte, believed by many to be the best swimmer in the world. Today, meet Missy Franklin, a 17-year-old swimmer from Colorado, whom many think could be the next big thing in women’s swimming, and the next young athlete to be dubbed as “America’s Sweetheart”.
Early this week, Franklin, a high school student in Aurora, Colorado, qualified for her first Olympic Games by winning the 100 m backstroke event. Her time of 58.85 seconds broke the U.S. record, which was previously held by Franklin’s sports hero, fellow American Olympic swimmer, Natalie Coughlin.
Franklin, who (because her parents are both from Canada) holds dual-citizenship, was encouraged by her mother to try out for the Canadian Olympic Swim Team because she believed that it would be easier to make than the US team; however, Franklin, born and raised in the USA, wanted to represent her home country.
Franklin, who towers over her competition at 6’1″ tall, participated in the 2008 Olympic Swim Trials, she failed to qualify for Athens.
Since then, however, she has grown into one of the best swimmers in the world.
In 2010, she won 2 silver medals at the World Aquatic Championships in Dubai, but it would be the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai where Franklin would really break onto the scene. There, she captured 5 total medals: 3 gold, 1 silver, and 1 bronze.
Later in 2011, Franklin set her first two world records. The first came at the FINA Swimming World Cup in the 200 m backstroke (short course), and the second came at the Duel in the Pool, when as a member of the 4×100 m medley relay with Rebecca Soni, Dana Volmer, and Natalie Coughlin, they broke the previously held US record.
By the year’s end, she received the FINA Summer of the Year Award.
Now, Missy Franklin has her sights on the 2012 Summer Olympics where the young, 17-year-old high school student will compete against the best swimmers in the world. Something tells me that at the same time, she will capture the hearts of American sports fans as well.
Join us tomorrow as we shine the spotlight on another member of Team USA 2012.