Journey To Rio 2016 Includes a Homecoming and Reunion For American Missy Franklin

Missy Franklin and parents, courtesy of Speedo

After two years at Cal, Missy Franklin has reunited with coach Todd Schmitz on the path to this summer’s World Championships, with next year’s Olympic Games in Rio as the primary focus.

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After two years at Cal, Missy Franklin has reunited with coach Todd Schmitz on the path to this summer’s World Championships, with next year’s Olympic Games in Rio as the primary focus.

Comments

Cayley GuimarĂŁes

I said it before, and I will say it again: altitude was a major factor in Franklin’s success. I am glad she is back at 6,000ft..

TommyL

I love that statement: “…I belong here.”

Same with Ruta telling John after her gold in London: “…You know that this just the first one…”

This is great stuff.

38 days until Kazan.

haakon

Again a great article, John Lohn. But it might also be interesting to touch upon an analysis of Franklin’s development since 2011. She is obviously a fantastic athlete and person, but it appears to me there has been limited improvement during the last several years, at least as far as LC is concerned. If this is indeed correct (I tend to be corrected by yourselves quickly and correctly), is this the main reason she is now returning to her high altitude home town and Coach Schmitz?

Craig Lord

No, Haakon. While John sleeps in he U.S. : A return was always a strong possibility, I’m told. The swimmer herself wanted a college career – she arrived at CAL with the first signs of that niggling back injury that held her back in 2014 and the folk at CAL appear to have handled responsibly a difficult period. It looks to me as though the swimmer returns home with some valuable lessons in the bag and a steady foundation firmly in place: lack of progress on the clock needs to be viewed in the context of injury and a focus on college swimming, in which she excelled, of course. Strong bond:
http://www.swimvortex.com/swimvortex-awards-top-hat-for-missy-franklin-todd-schmitz/

aswimfan

I love John Lohn’s style of writing and articles. They have facts but also heart, without being too sappy or bombastic.

And I agree with everyone who says that living and training in altitude was a big factor in Missy’s successes.

Craig Lord

One of the reasons John was asked to join the team, aswimfan 🙂

Philip Johnson

Great piece, thanks for the great read.

pol

Wish Franklin all the best in Kazan. I want to be positive as much as possible.

Yozhik

Aswimfan, I like it too. But don’t you get an impression like you are sitting near to the bed of seriously seek person who is recovering and everybody around are happy and are hoping for the best. I remember my feelings after high school graduation and that excitement of starting a new chapter in my life by going in college. No words, Franklin’s decision two years ago was 100% right. But was that college swimming experience so damaging, that now we have left with the hope only and are making excuses to postpone our expectations until Rio? So much anticipated Santa Clara meet raised more questions than gave answers on Franklin’s competitive conditions. If you google news about Franklin you will find everything like making a movie, flying F-15, making deal with Spedo, speaking on sexualization of female athletes, but nothing about her immediate swimming plans, readiness for WC and her targets. Is it a big secret or new requirements of her professional status?
To be fair, the same secrecy surrounds another American star Ledecky. That is probably a cultural feature of American swimming elite 🙂 Someday John will tell us this story 🙂

Yozhik

Correction: read “sick” instead of “seek”

Bad Anon

Great piece (as usual ). Am not even worried about the perceived vulnerability of Franklin at this particular time. Missy will be in great shape in Kazan. perhaps there is some truth in her not having full faith in McKeever coaching her through worlds, any lack of success thereof would spark a great controversy. Most athletes would naturally want to recreate the environment which brought them greatest success and no doubt Colorado stars is that place for Missy Franklin. I am certain she will win gold medals in Kazan and put down great times, though the master plan I’d imagine would be rewriting history books in Rio which may very well be one of the most intersting chapter of women swimming in recent times

Craig Lord

Bad Anon. I think the swimmer is genuine in what she says about both coaches. I think in time we will learn more about the background of politics and sponsorship related to this career in a world well beyond the immediate concern of the swimmer and coach.

aswimfan

Missy will win 200 back. Book it.

Can’t even think Missy not winning it, despite Hosszu swimming fast 200 back times.

Bad Anon

Hosszu will be very strong in Kazan, if anyone can beat Franklin I’ll put my money on the Iron Lady. Rested, Katinka will be 2.05low ,that is about the gold medal winning time in Kazan (rio will be much faster). Seebohm, Ustinova both in the hunt for a bronze and Coventry should make finals

Craig Lord

That would mark a massive improvement, Bad Anon – it would be a unique line of its own in swim history on two obvious levels.

JohnLohn

Thanks for the kind words.
While it was SCY, Franklin showed during college season that she is recovered. There is no doubting she’ll be fast.

Bad Anon

I definitely agree with you John Lohn. You must agree with me that Hosszu will probably be her biggest challenger in Kazan especially in the 200back; my biggest interest will be what the clock reads rather than who touches the wall first and I’ll maintain 2.05low to flat will be the winning time

Craig Lord

Bad Anon, yes, it will be about that – but big difference in what that would mean in terms of progress relative to the swimmers you mention.

aswimfan

What’s breathtaking about Hosszu is her strong improvements in the past 2-3 years across the whole range of events: 100 to 800 free, 100/200 back, 200/400 IM, and even 100/200 breast!
What’s interesting is that her fly events are stalling, when fly used to be her strongest events.

Bad Anon

She’s 10th world rankings 200fly on 2.08 and 2nd 200back 2.06.81 (untapered) just 0.12 behind the world’s top time. I have a feeling she’ll be focussing on 200back rather than 200fly for kazan and rio and she’s already made a mark. Good luck to her!

Yozhik

John, yes indeed her 200y record shown in March is remarkable. If to believe swimmingworldmagazin.com conversion utility she swam 1 sec faster than Sjostrom SCM world record. But what in the world was that performance in Santa Clara. With her 100 free she is ranked 95 this season. Despite 1:57 is not that bad I have never seen her start that unusually slow at 200 free. Is it what heavy training does to sprinting abilities? One may say that she didn’t try to impress anybody at this meet and it was just another step in preparation for WC. But usually in such cases races in preliminaries doesn’t differ much from finals. And she did really try to swim faster in finals, but still so slow. Franklin’s spectacular 2011, 2012 seasons and her recent 200y records keep everybody at high alert and place her among top contenders for medals. Nobody believes that such huge talent can fade away that fast just because of different style of training in college. She is probably planning for particular moments in her career to make the highest impact on public opinion. She will never do such childish things like breaking two world records in one local high school level meet. She will strike at the right place at the right time. But honestly speaking I am not a big fan of her recent rush of capitalization on her image established two years ago. I am missing that 15 year old Missy.

Jay

Yes, Yozhik, breaking world records is definitely more childish than, say, posting lengthy snark comments in an anonymous online forum.

Yozhik

Jay, is it how it looks like? Never knows how it can be read. Well, if it is so I will learn from your style – sharp and short. Good lesson. I think if Ledecky is going to break another world record she will be strongly recommended by her advisors to do it at big meets.

Yozhik

To Jay. Dictionary:
“Depending on the speaker, subject, and audience, snark may be perceived as either witty or asinine, sophisticated or sophomoric”. I guess you qualified me as whatever comes after “or” in this definition. And since you are witty and sophisticated then logically speaking your comment is also snark. Well, well. Wow! Jay, we are brothers! Take a petty on me.

Yozhik

Childish. You may not even noticed how deep and philosophical your observations are. The older we are getting the more we act as little children. I think the average age of members of swimvortex.com community is well above 50. So, again, take it easy on your little brother’s desire to post to this forum. You may find yourself very soon is similar mental stage 🙂

Yozhik

A little bit off topic. Haven’t seen any posts from Danjohnrob for long time already. Is it any way to figure out if he is ok?

Craig Lord

You think wrong, Yozhik

Yozhik

It is a good news Craig. Seriously, it is. So deep historical knowledge, language and manners used by most active of your followers let me mistakenly guess about their age. I am glad that I am wrong.

Craig Lord

The bulk of active of readers don’t post comments, Yozhik; they send emails, which are treated in confidence unless oherwise stated, an age-old journalistic tool that helps press the button marked transparency

Dave

People seem to have convinced themselves that somehow Franklin is in “decline”. I believe this thought is driven largely by circumstance and lack of understanding. Franklin has been swimming in the NCAAs and focused on SCY for the past two years. This was a deliberate decision and she has limited LCM results to show as a result. The times she’s posted in NCAA competition (such as an incredible 1:39.10 in the 200y free this year) are difficult for non-US fans to put in context so they are usually ignored. This combined with the fact that a hardly-at-her-best Franklin swam injured in her one full-taper LCM meet of the past two years (Pan Pacs) has allowed people to believe that Franklin just doesn’t have it any more. I think this is incorrect. I think Franklin’s going to surprise a lot of people in Kazan. To me, it really shouldn’t be that surprising.

Yozhik

Dave, it shouldn’t be surprising at all. What surprising is all these talks about time that Franklin needs to return back to compete successfully at LCM? Why there was no problem for the lead female swimmers to be very successful in both SCM and LCM in 2014 and forward to 2015. Plenty of very impressive examples like Sjostrom and Hosszu that were capable to make world records or to be very close to them at each type of pool. What makes NCAA life so different that it should be “either-or”. Don’t know much about college swimming inner working. However, this issue may have nothing to do with college training system at all but is Franklin specific only. Then the question “what was that” is OK to ask. Maybe it was just her injury for instance. And that is it. If it is so, how serious this injury was and how was it treated and if the full recovery was achieved.

Danjohnrob

Yozhik: Thank you so much for thinking of me! I have not had as much time or consistent access to the internet, so I have only been skimming articles and not commenting.

I doubt anybody will read this comment, but in my mind, Missy is a goal-oriented person who wants to experience all that life has to offer her and values emotion and relationships highly. She didn’t want to miss out on the experience of participating in the NCAA and being a member of a college team, so she put off her pro career for 2 years. Missy took a detour to accomplish her NCAA swimming goals, but is now refocusing for the 2016 Olympics. Go Missy!

Mr Lohn or Mr Lord: This article seems to imply that Missy has decided to train in Colorado until Rio. I HOPE this is true, but this is the first evidence I have seen. May I ask if either of you have confirmed this fact with your journalistic contacts?

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