March 7, 2013
At the start of the London 2012 Games, Missy Franklin was a 17-year-old with bags of potential gearing up for her very first Olympics.
Arriving back home in America just weeks later, she was the holder of four gold medals, one bronze, a host of new records and had become one of the young stars of the Games as a whole.
Much of Franklin’s individual success came in the backstroke. She won the 100 metres and 200m distances in this event and added to this team golds from the American success in the 4x100m medley and 4x200m freestyle. She also won a bronze in the 4x100 freestyle.
Her Olympic medal success in the 200m backstroke was also a world record breaking effort.
The Californian, who continues to refuse endorcements so she can maintain her amateur status in college, is now up for the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Award.
But she will be up against tough competition in the form of Serena William, Jessica Ennis, Allyson Felix, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Lindsey Vonn for the prestigious Award on March 11 in Rio.
But she certainly has one fan in legendary swimmer Mark Spitz.
The man who won a remarkable seven Olympic golds in the pool at Munich 1972, said: “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.”
Do you think Franklin deserves to take the Award ahead of her fellow Nominees?
Write in the comments below if the swimmer has your support and follow on twitter here to be the first to know the winners come March 11.
Check out our Q and A with Missy here.