Missy Franklin, the 17-year-old swimmer fresh off of her entry into the 2012 London Olympics with a 100 backstroke time that puts her No. 1 in the world, has earned another slots in the summer games and could see a handful more by the time trials have ended.
Franklin placed second in the 200 freestyle at the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials on Thursday, using a strong finish to gain her second event at the Olympics. She was in fourth entering the final 100 meters, but powered past Dana Vollmer and Lauren Perdue to take the second, holding off the competitors as she finished the race.
“I knew Allison and Dana were going to be out there and they’d be out there fast,” Missy Franklin was quoted by the Denver Post. “I had to make sure I stayed in [the middle of] my own lane. I still need to work on that a little more. There are still a few things I need to tweak and hopefully I can do that before I get to London.”
Franklin’s victory in the 100 backstroke came in a world-season best 58.85, giving the euphoric high school senior her entry into the London Games.
“Oh, my gosh, you just said I’m an Olympian!” Missy Franklin told a Denver Post reporter following the 100 backstroke victory. “I can’t even believe I’m an Olympian. It seems so unreal. I’ve dreamed about it for so long. The fact that it’s here and it’s happening right now it’s still like a dream.”
Franklin had dreamed of making the Olympics since she was in kindergarten, her mother D.A. told the Post. Both her mother and father Dick sat in the second row, eyes filled with tears, as their daughter rose from below a stage for the victory ceremony in front of a sign that spelled out “2012 OLYMPIC TEAM.”
Franklin had little time to let her first victory sink in. Dive to dive, the two races took an elapsed time of just under 20 minutes, USA Today reported.
The swimmer, who is 6-feet-1 inches tall, still has the potential to earn Olympic slots in the 200 freestyle final, the 100 free, the 200 back and even the 50 free. Her coach noted that she may end up sitting out the 200 backstroke at the games depending on the race schedule.
While Franklin could return home from London with six or seven medals, she won’t be coming back with any earnings. The swimmer has vowed not to sign with an agent so she can retain her eligibility and join a college team next year.
Video: Missy Franklin reacts to earning a slot in the Olympic Games.