Franklin in September 2012
|Full name||Melissa Jeanette Franklin|
Missy the Missile
|Nationality||United States, Canada[discuss]|
May 10, 1995 |
|Height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Weight||165 lb (75 kg)|
|College team||University of California, Berkeley|
Melissa Jeanette Franklin (born May 10, 1995) is an American competition swimmer and four-time Olympic gold medalist. She currently holds the world record in the 200-meter backstroke (long course) and American records in both the 100-meter and 200-meter backstroke (long course). As a member of the U.S. National Team, she also holds the world record in the 4×100-meter medley relay (short course and long course).
In her Olympic debut at the 2012 Summer Olympics at age 17, Franklin won a total of five medals, four of which were gold. She swept the women's backstroke events, winning gold in both the 100-meter and 200-meter backstroke. Franklin's successes have earned her Swimming World's World Swimmer of the Year and the American Swimmer of the Year award in 2012 as well as the FINA Swimmer of the Year Award in 2011 and 2012. In total, she has won twenty-two medals in international competition: fourteen gold, five silver, and three bronze, spanning the 2012 Summer Olympics, the FINA World Championships and the short course FINA World Championships.
- 1 Personal life
- 2 Swimming career
- 3 In media
- 4 Personal bests
- 5 World records
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Franklin was born in Pasadena, California, the daughter of Dick and D. A. Franklin. She grew up in Centennial, Colorado and began swimming there at the age of five at the urging of her mother. She attended Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora, Colorado and graduated in 2013.
Both of Franklin's parents are Canadian and Franklin has dual citizenship. Her father, Dick, was born in St. Catharines, Ontario. A former All-Canadian football player for Saint Mary's University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, he played briefly for the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League as an offensive lineman. After an injury ended his football career, he returned to Halifax to pursue an MBA degree at Dalhousie University, where he met his future wife, a medical student. While working for 7-Up in Ontario, Dick was transferred to the United States. Ultimately the family settled in Denver, Colorado, where Dick had a senior position with Coors Brewing Company. Franklin's mother suggested that her daughter consider competing for Canada to ease the pressure of qualifying for the U.S. National Team due to the competitive depth of American swimmers. Franklin, however, chose to represent the United States, citing her patriotism for her homeland.
Franklin is 6 ft 1 in (185 cm) tall and has women's size 13 feet: "We call them built-in flippers," says her father. She has been coached by Todd Schmitz from the Colorado Stars club team since she was 7 years old. Franklin says her favorite athlete is Natalie Coughlin.
During her rise to stardom surrounding the 2012 Olympics, Franklin continued to refuse prize money and endorsements so that she could maintain her amateur status to compete in college. In 2012, she accepted an athletic scholarship to attend the University of California, Berkeley, where she began swimming for coach Teri McKeever's California Golden Bears women's swimming team during the 2013–14 academic year. Franklin presently plans to turn professional after the 2015 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships when she will start preparing for the 2016 Summer Olympics. After turning pro, she intends to continue working towards a degree in social welfare.
Franklin is a Christian. Franklin has spoken about her faith in her life saying, "God is always there for me. I talk with Him before, during and after practice and competitions. I pray to Him for guidance. I thank Him for this talent He has given me, and promise to be a positive role model for young athletes in all sports."
Franklin is very active with multiple charitable causes. She serves as an ambassador for Swim for Multiple Sclerosis, which raises money for MS research via fundraising events such as, Swim-a-Thons. She also auctioned off a private swim lesson with her long time club coach, Todd Schmitz of the Colorado Stars, to support One Drop USA, a clean water initiative founded by Guy Laliberte. Along with Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and Senator Michael Bennet, Franklin was asked to speak at the memorial service for slain 17-year old Colorado student Claire Davis, who was killed by a fellow student at Arapahoe High School.
At the age of 13, Franklin competed at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, but did not qualify to swim in any events at the 2008 Summer Olympics. Her best result was 37th place in the 100-meter freestyle.
At the 2010 National Championships, Franklin competed in six individual events, and qualified to swim at the 2010 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships by finishing second in the 100- and 200-meter backstroke. At the 2010 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships, Franklin finished fourth in the 100-meter backstroke and did not make the A final for the 50 and 200-meter backstroke. Franklin earned the first international medals of her career at the 2010 FINA Short Course World Championships in Dubai. In the 200-meter backstroke, Franklin finished in second place behind French swimmer Alexianne Castel. Franklin also earned a silver medal in the 4×100-meter medley relay for her contribution in the heats. For her performance in 2010, she won the Breakout Performer of the Year Award at the seventh annual Golden Goggle Awards.
2011 World Championships
In her first long course world championship meet at the 2011 World Aquatics Championships in Shanghai, Franklin won a total of five medals, three gold, one silver, and one bronze. In her first event, the 4×100-meter freestyle relay, Franklin won a silver medal with Natalie Coughlin, Jessica Hardy and Dana Vollmer in a time of 3:34.47. Swimming the second leg, Franklin had a split of 52.99, the second-best among all participants. Franklin won her first individual medal, a bronze, in the 50-meter backstroke, finishing behind Russian Anastasia Zuyeva and Japanese Aya Terakawa. Shortly after the 50-meter backstroke final, Franklin competed in the 4×200-meter freestyle relay with Dagny Knutson, Katie Hoff and Allison Schmitt and won gold ahead of Australia and China in a time of 7:46.14. Franklin's lead-off time of 1:55.06 was faster than the winning time of Italian Federica Pellegrini in the individual 200-meter freestyle final (1:55.58). After setting the national record in the semi-finals of the 200-meter backstroke (2:05.90), Franklin dominated the field in the final with a time of 2:05.10, breaking her own national record and winning gold. This was Franklin's first individual world title, and her time in the final was the third-fastest effort of all time. Shortly after the 200-meter backstroke final, Franklin competed in the 4×100-meter medley relay with Natalie Coughlin, Rebecca Soni, and Dana Vollmer and won gold with a time of 3:52.36, over three seconds ahead of second-place finisher China. Swimming the freestyle leg, Franklin had a split of 52.79, the fastest in the field. The final time of 3:52.36 for the medley relay was the second-fastest effort of all time, just behind the Chinese-owned world record of 3:52.19. For her performance at these championships, she won the Female Athlete of the Year, Female Race of the Year (200-meter backstroke), and the Relay Performance of the Year (4×100-meter medley relay) Award at the eighth annual Golden Goggle Awards. She was also named the best female swimmer for 2011 by FINA Aquatics World Magazine.
2011 National Championships
Three days after the 2011 World Aquatics Championships ended in Shanghai on July 30, Franklin traveled to Palo Alto, California to compete at the 2011 National Championships, which began on August 2. At these championships, Franklin competed in four individual events, and the 4×100 and 4×200-meter freestyle relay. Franklin won the first national titles of her career in the 100-meter backstroke and freestyle. She also placed fourth in the 200-meter individual medley and twelfth in the 50-meter freestyle.
First world records
Towards the end of 2011 in October, at the 2011 FINA Swimming World Cup, Franklin set the first world record of her career in the 200-meter backstroke (short course), bettering the previous record of 2:00.18 held by Shiho Sakai with a time of 2:00.03. In breaking the record, Franklin became the first female to break an individual world record since the high-tech bodysuits were banned in January 2010. Franklin's second world record came at the 2011 Duel in the Pool in December. In the 4×100-meter medley relay, Franklin combined with Natalie Coughlin, Rebecca Soni, and Dana Vollmer to break the previous American-owned world record in a time of 3:45.56, bettering the previous record of 3:47.97. Swimming the freestyle leg, Franklin had a split of 51.32.
2012 Summer Olympic Games London
|Competitor for the United States|
|Gold||100 m backstroke||58.33 (AM)|
|Gold||200 m backstroke||2:04.06 (WR)|
|Gold||4×200 m freestyle||7:42.92 (AM)|
|Gold||4×100 m medley||3:52.05 (WR)|
|Bronze||4×100 m freestyle||3:34.24 (AM)|
At the 2012 United States Olympic Trials, Franklin qualified to swim in four individual events at the 2012 Summer Olympics. In her first event, the 100-meter backstroke, Franklin won the final with a time of 58.85, breaking Natalie Coughlin's American record of 58.94 seconds. In her second event, the 200-meter freestyle, Franklin placed second behind Allison Schmitt by over two seconds with a time of 1:56.79. In her third individual event, Franklin finished second in the 100-meter freestyle behind Jessica Hardy with a time of 54.15. Her second-place finish came less than half an hour after swimming in the 200-meter backstroke semi-finals, where she finished first overall with a time of 2:07.91. In the 200-meter backstroke final, her fourth individual event, Franklin finished first with a time of 2:06.12.
On the first day of the swimming competition at the 2012 Olympics in London, Franklin won a bronze medal in the 4×100-meter freestyle relay with Jessica Hardy, Lia Neal, and Allison Schmitt, with the U.S. team finishing behind Australia and the Netherlands. Swimming the lead-off leg, Franklin had a personal best of 53.52 seconds and the team finished with a total time of 3:34.24, an American record. Franklin's first leg in the relay was also the fastest lead-off of the field. In her first individual event on the third day of the swimming competition, the 100-meter backstroke, Franklin won the gold medal with a time of 58.33 seconds, beating her own national record. Her win in the backstroke came less than fifteen minutes after completing the 200-meter freestyle semifinals, where she qualified for the final. The following day, Franklin competed in the 200-meter freestyle and placed fourth in the final with a time of 1:55.82, one one-hundredth of a second behind third-place finisher Bronte Barratt. A day after the 200-meter freestyle, Franklin won her third medal of the meet, a gold, in the 4×200-meter freestyle relay with Dana Vollmer, Shannon Vreeland and Allison Schmitt. Swimming the lead-off leg, Franklin posted a time of 1:55.96 and the U.S. team finished with a time of 7:42.92, a new American record. A day after completing the relay, Franklin competed in her third individual event, 100-meter freestyle. In the final, Franklin placed fifth with a time of 53.64 seconds. Franklin was able to bounce back from that performance, and in her fourth and last individual event held the following day, the 200-meter backstroke, Franklin won her second individual gold of the Olympics with a world record time of 2:04.06, bettering Kirsty Coventry's record of 2:04.81. In winning the 200-meter backstroke, Franklin also became the first American female to win the event at the Olympics since Melissa Belote did in 1972, forty years earlier. In her final event, the 4×100-meter medley relay, Franklin won gold with Rebecca Soni, Dana Vollmer and Allison Schmitt. Swimming the backstroke leg, Franklin recorded a time of 58.50 seconds, and the U.S. team went on to set the world record with a time of 3:52.05, besting the Chinese-owned record of 3:52.19 set in 2009.
At the end of the year, Franklin was named the World Swimmer of the Year and American Swimmer of the Year by Swimming World Magazine. She was also named the best female swimmer for 2012 by FINA Aquatics World Magazine.
2013 World Championships
|Competitor for the United States|
|Gold||100 m backstroke||58.42|
|Gold||200 m backstroke||2:04.76 (CR)|
|Gold||200 m freestyle||1:54.81|
|Gold||4×100 m freestyle||3:32.31 (AM)|
|Gold||4×200 m freestyle||7:45.14|
|Gold||4×100 m medley||3:53.23|
At the 2013 US National Championships, Franklin qualified to swim in five individual events at the 2013 World Aquatics Championships. At the National Championships, she finished first in the 100- and 200-meter freestyle and backstroke, and second in the 50-meter backstroke.
At the 2013 World Aquatics Championships in Barcelona, Spain, Franklin swam 7 total events – 4 individual and 3 relays, though she later withdrew from the 50-meter backstroke after the heats. At the meet, Franklin won six gold medals, setting a new record for the most golds won by a female swimmer at a single edition of the World Championships. Despite being the first woman in history to win 6 gold medals at a single World Championships, she lost out the award of Swimmer of the Meet to teammate Katie Ledecky for her 2 world record breaking performances and 4 gold medals.
On the first day of the pool competition and her first event the 4x100-meter freestyle relay, Franklin lead-off the relay with a time of 53.51. She was over a second behind Australia's lead-off Cate Campbell, but teammates Natalie Coughlin and Shannon Vreeland made up some ground and anchor Megan Romano overtook the Australian team in the last 20 meters to give the Americans the gold medal. The final time of 3:32.31 was an American record, breaking the previous record of 3:34.24. In her first individual event held on the third day of the pool competition, the 100-meter backstroke, Franklin won gold in a time of 58.42, six-tenths of a second ahead of Emily Seebohm of Australia. On the fourth day, Franklin decided to scratch the 50-meter backstroke since it was right before the 200-meter freestyle. In the 200-meter freestyle, Franklin won her third gold in a personal best time of 1:54.81, touching 0.33 seconds ahead of second place finisher Federica Pellegrini. On the fifth day, Franklin won gold in the 4x200-meter freestyle relay along with teammates Katie Ledecky, Shannon Vreeland, and Karlee Bispo. Swimming the anchor leg and diving in with a deficit of over a second, Franklin was able to track down Australian Alicia Coutts, recording a split of 1:54.27 and the team finishing with a time of 7:45.14. On the sixth day, Franklin competed in the 100-meter freestyle and placed fourth in the final with a time of 53.47, just missing the medal podium. A day after her 100-meter freestyle swim, Franklin successfully defended her title in the 200-meter backstroke, winning with a time of 2:04.76 and setting a new championship record. In her last event, the 4×100-meter medley relay, Franklin combined with Jessica Hardy, Dana Vollmer, and Megan Romano to win gold in a time of 3:53.23. Swimming the backstroke leg, Franklin recorded a time of 58.39.
2014 National Championships
At the 2014 U.S. National Championships, Franklin won the 100-meter backstroke with the third fastest American time ever, leading a sweep of the event by Cal Berkeley swimmers. She also won the 200-meter backstroke and the 100-meter freestyle, and finished second in the 200-meter freestyle behind Katie Ledecky.
2014 Pan-Pacific Championships
Despite being hampered by a back injury, Franklin swam in four individual events and three team relays at the 2014 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships.
She finished third in the 100-meter backstroke and fourth in the 100-meter freestyle and the 200-meter backstroke. In the 200-meter freestyle Franklin failed to qualify for the A final, but won the B final with the second-fastest time among all finalists, securing her place on the U.S. team for the 2015 World Championships in this event.
Franklin teamed with Shannon Vreeland, Leah Smith, and Katie Ledecky to win the 4x200-meter freestyle relay. Swimming with Simone Manuel, Abbey Weitzeil, and Vreeland, Franklin placed second in the 4x100-meter freestyle relay, and with teammates Jessica Hardy, Kendyl Stewart, and Manuel, she finished second in the 4x100-meter medley relay.
Touch The Wall (2014) is a documentary film directed by Christo Brock and Grant Barbeito, starring Missy Franklin and Kara Lynn Joyce. The film documents their journey to the 2012 London Olympics. The film was noted for its celebration of female physical and emotional strength.
- As of March 22, 2014.
|1||200 m||Backstroke (sc)||2:00.03||2011 World Cup||Berlin, Germany||October 22, 2011||16||[a]|||
|2||4×100 m||Medley relay (sc)||3:45.56||2011 Duel in the Pool||Atlanta, Georgia, US||December 16, 2011||16||[b]|||
|3||200 m||Backstroke||2:04.06||2012 Summer Olympics||London, United Kingdom||August 3, 2012||17|||
|4||4×100 m||Medley relay||3:52.05||2012 Summer Olympics||London, United Kingdom||August 4, 2012||17||[c]|||
- a Record set in a short course pool.
- b Short course record with Natalie Coughlin, Rebecca Soni, and Dana Vollmer. Franklin swam the freestyle leg (anchor leg) in a time of 51.32.
- c Record set with Rebecca Soni, Dana Vollmer, and Allison Schmitt. Franklin swam the backstroke leg (lead-off leg) in a time of 58.50.
- List of multiple Olympic gold medalists
- List of Olympic medalists in swimming (women)
- List of United States records in swimming
- List of World Aquatics Championships medalists in swimming (women)
- List of world records in swimming
- World record progression 200 metres backstroke
- World record progression 4 × 100 metres medley relay
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- "Women's long course meters American records as of July 30, 2011". Swimming World Magazine. Retrieved 2011-08-01.
- "Duel in the Pool: World Record Opens Night One". Swimming World Magazine. 16 December 2011. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- Shipley, Amy (2011-05-15). "Missy Franklin, 16, turns heads in the pool with success at Charlotte Ultraswim". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2011-05-19. Retrieved 2011-05-19.
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- "Missy Franklin to Don the Blue and Gold Next Year at Berkeley". Swimming World Magazine. 2012-10-20. Retrieved 2012-10-20.
- Hersh, Philip (June 28, 2013). "Jaded not in Franklin dictionary: Gold medal swimmer radiates unbridled enthusiasm at U.S. swimming championships". Chicago Tribune.
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- "2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – 100 m freestyle (heats)". Omega Timing. Retrieved 2011-05-19.
- Lanier, Yvette (2008-06-29). "Prodigy in the swimming pool". The Denver Post. Archived from the original on 2010-08-12. Retrieved 2010-08-12.
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- "2010 FINA World Swimming Championships (25 m) – 200 m backstroke (final)". Omega Timing. Retrieved 2010-12-19.
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- "2011 National Championships – 100 m backstroke (final)". Omega Timing. Retrieved 2011-11-06.
- "2011 National Championships – 100 m freestyle (final)". Omega Timing. Retrieved 2011-11-06.
- "2011 National Championships – 200 m individual medley (final)". Omega Timing. Retrieved 2011-11-06.
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- "2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials (swimming) – Women's 100 metre backstroke (final)". Omega Timing. Retrieved 2012-07-13.
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- "2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials (swimming) – Women's 200 metre backstroke (final)". Omega Timing. Retrieved 2012-07-13.
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- Missy Franklin – National Team swimmer profile at USASwimming.org
- Missy Franklin at the United States Olympic Committee
- Missy Franklin on Twitter
|Women's 200-meter backstroke
world record-holder (short course)
October 22, 2011 – December 5, 2014
|Women's 200-meter backstroke
world record-holder (long course)
August 3, 2012 – present
|FINA Swimmer of the Year
World Swimmer of the Year
American Swimmer of the Year
|James E. Sullivan Award
Sportswoman of the Year