Opinion: With The Heart Of Champion, Missy Franklin Roared Onto Olympic Team

Missy Franklin - by Peter Bick
Missy Franklin - by Peter Bick

The guts and grit displayed by Missy Franklin in the final of the 200 freestyle, which landed her on the Olympic Team, spoke volumes about the 21-year-old’s character.

All SwimVortex articles are placed in our archive after five days, the library of content available to subscribers.
Log In Register

Comments

Blah Blah

Impressive. Didn’t think she would qualify.

Eugene Chc

What more impressive, with worst coach in the world.

felix

Well the worst coach in the world has done a hell of a lot better than 99% of coaches in the world

commonwombat

Whilst I may chuckle a little at John’s prose in this piece, I concur fully with the sentiment.

It has been clear for some time that not all has been going well with Franklin with her 100back at these Trials being the most telling denouement but Franklin HAS demonstrated admirable grace and sportsmanship throughout the rocky past 2 years.

Make no mistake, this 200free performance (and the fact this individually qualifies her for Rio) does in no way indicate any miraculous return to form. Rather it demonstrates that below the surface charm and grace lies considerable grit and strength of purpose and she drew heavily on those stores with this performance.

Many have crumbled or would’ve crumbed in these circumstances but she didn’t. For that alone, she deserves genuine respect.

Eugene Chc

How many coach in the world has swimmer with Franklin level talent, 0.001%?
And I said about Schmitz 2015-2016 years. Almost year ago i said it will be afwul, maybe only relay berth.

Yozhik

For the first time I saw the expression of happiness and great relief on the face of Missy Franklin. Not expressions from too many of her commercials, not kissing and hugging everybody around with generosity of dominant leader, but deep calming human emotions of the person who avoided something very terrible and is happy now and wants sincerely to share it.

aswimfan

I agree with CW, it was Missy’s inner strength which willed her to get the 200 free berth. I mean, her form in 100 back was horrible, that it was not unreasonable to doubt she’d get an individual swim in Rio.
We will see in the next couple of days in 100 free semis/final and 200 back if her 100 back swims were just that: sluggish, or if there is a more serious underlying technical causes.

Eugene Chc

very hard qual for 100 free final, her chances only if semifinals will be slow.

commonwombat

If she makes the 100free final, which may only need 53v high/54flat, then I would suspect she may be co-opted for the 4×100 relay heats unless she is something like half a second off those who came 4-5-6th. The latter I somewhat doubt as I’m not really seeing 4-5 below 53.5 in the final

Bad Anon

She’ll most likely leave Rio with at least a gold medal in the 800free relay….. That’ll be great for her credentials…. If she makes 100 free final tonight shell most likely make the top6 and get a medal in that as well…. She was 54.15 in omaha 2012 trials, not sure that sort of time will cut it this time around… 200back is the real question for Missy. Her seasons best this year is 2.08.77, Dirado and Kathleen Baker are both within reach of a 2.07 and if Missy cant improve on her seasons best like was the case in the 100, then her 200back title defence chances are in great danger…. Looks like these trials have been unkind to defending olympians, Lochte(4IM), Grevers(100back), Leverenz(2IM), Schmitt(200free), and Franklin herself 100back…. She’ll need to muster her deepest competitive resources to punch 200back ticket in my humble opinion just like she did in the 200free….a true test of her staying power…..

beachmouse

I do wonder if her back problems are a little more unfortunately chronic than first hoped, and that freestyle is just still more comfortable for her to train. Back pain is a tricky thing to have to manage.

Bad Anon

Franlin locked out of 100free final in 11th with a 54.24…. Rewind to 2012 and it was going to be enough for a relay spot… After all it took 54.15 for the individual then…. Her Rio schedule so far 200free and 800free relay. Even 200back is up in the air, Dirado and Kathleen Baker with a solid chances of going 1-2 if Missy slips up…..

Craig Lord

Eugene, your description is way out. Beyond your not knowing the vast majority of coaches in the world and what they do and do not achieve, the worst coach in the world award goes to those who abuse their charges, be that sexually, be that doping, be that other forms of serious and criminal abuse.

Yozhik

Why so much attention is paid to this swimmer? She is not just in the period of struggling, she is already in the long lasting decline of unknown to the public nature. She doesn’t look fresh and full of energy in the pool. And the most important thing is that I don’t see any signs of self-confidence with what she is doing. Look at Lilly King at blocks before race to understand what I mean.
She doesn’t bother to give any explanations, then why should I care? I’m tired of being fed by media with great expectations that will realize soon at big meets. It hasn’t been happening for three years already neither at PP nor at WC nor at OT. If she hasn’t tapered for this meet than what she was hoped for? That other swimmers will slow? Fortunately for American swimming it didn’t happen. This Trials is full with new faces and great results by young swimmers and by veterans. If she was well prepared and what was shown is what she is capable for now then it is too sad, because it is a very average performance. She may get individual spot at 200BK and will inspire big articles full of admiration of her dedication, concentration, strong will, big heart and similar BS. But I am more than sure that her race won’t be dominantly spectacular. I don’t even want her to win 200BK at trials, so there will be no disappointment if the Olympic Champion, world record holder and best college swimmer fails to deliver at most important meet.
Sure it is strange that two times best swimmer of the year failed so badly and so quickly. But what can we do? A lot of strange things happen in sport.

aswimfan

Yozhik,
So much media attention given to MIssy because:
1. She was the golden girl of 2012 Olympics, winning 4 gold medals
2. She won 6 gold medals in 2013 World Championships, the most of any women in the history of the world championships
3. Her not getting the 100 back ticket is the most dramatic fall, as she is still in her prime, and being the reigning Olympics champion and all.
4. People were blaming CAL for making her slower and/or injured, so naturally people are expecting so much when she has been training for more than a year with the coach that mentored her to success.
5. Hence, the revelation of Missy at this trials is very shocking, finishing 7th in 100 back, failing to final in 100 free. This is the same MIssy that swam 58.3 just an hour after swimming 1:55.8 in London. This is the same Missy that split 52.9 as a 15 yo. So. her winning second in 200 free is dramatic considering all these situation.

Eugene Chc

Craig, I was only think about coaching, not noswimming factors.
Heavy overtraining and afwul stroke.

Yozhik

@asf: Look how well slower than her personal bests she is now at all fronts. It should be a reason. Is it genetically programmed way of development of her body or she needs some changes in training environment and procedures because the current ones do not fit her current conditions or she stopped using something that became prohibited? There should be some explanations. That should be the point of discussion, but not telling us continuously: just wait, just wait, just a little bit more and you will see same 17 yo gold medallist and record holder. I will sooner believe in Allison come back than to see dominant Missy.

Eugene Chc

My opinion about Schmitz.
1. Man with financial education and low swimming backgorund. Had some work in the financial sector, but he decided to change and has appeared in the swimming club Colorado Stars.
2. where he received training methods,
and fully followed them until 2012,
and not changing strokes.
Missy stokes were the same. She was 26.1 in 50free at 12. 1.55.0 in 200 free and 52.7 in relay.
3. in 2012 year, after a successful WC2011, his ego began to grow, and he decided to change her free stroke. Result was afwul, much slower than in 2012, despite that the overall shape was better.
4. When Missy leaves him for Cal,
It suffered a major blow in his EGO.
5. Missy in 2015 returned to him, and he wants to prove that he much better than Cal coachs. He abandons the old training methods, which bring success. He greatly increases the volume of training, and changed her back stroke.
What it led to , we see now.

Blah Blah

I think her physical maturity vs 2012 is one of the more significant culprits of her recent form than the coach changes.

Eugene Chc

you see her in NCAA 2015?
she has ease speed and power.

Eugene Chc

Baker scratch 200 back. Looks like Bilqist vs Franklin for second spot. Right now i hope Amy wins it, for Cal( McKeever) haters.

aswimfan

I hope Amy wins it too..

Leave a comment

Post a comment with your SwimVortex Account. Don't have a SwimVortex Account, Sign Up?

(*) Fields are required!
×