Olympic swimmer Missy Franklin, the four-time Olympic gold medalist, is going pro.
Monday, after winning three individual NCAA titles this weekend, Franklin, the star of the 2012 Olympic games, announced her intention to turn professional, which opens her up to receive money and endorsements.
Missy told ABC News she’s hired Hollywood sports agent Mark Ervin who used to work with snowboarder Shaun White to represent her.
“This is a new chapter of my life. The most important thing about this transition is I’m going to be able to reach more people. I can create a platform where I can inspire, reach out and help and encourage. Being a pro athlete gives me a lot of opportunities.”
During Saturday’s meet at the Greensboro Aquatic Center Missy became the first woman to break the 1 minute 40 second barrier in the 200 free style with a record setting time of 1 minute 39.10 seconds, according to ESPN.
Franklin, the winningest female swimmer ever, won six gold medals at the 2013 World Championships. She is only the fifth swimmer, male or female, to win six or more gold medals at either the Olympics or World Championships, according to the Inquisitr.
After the 2012 Olympic games the world expected Missy to turn pro and take advantage of the many lucrative offers totaling millions of dollars, but instead Franklin opted to swim for the University of California, Berkeley.
After two years of college the sophomore announced her intentions to turn pro.
Franklin told The News Tribune she hopes to share her passion of the sport and inspire girls around the world.
“What’s still special about it is I get to still stay me. Just because this one chapter is ending, I’m still going to be dancing every time I get behind the blocks to race. I’m going to stay true to myself.”
Franklin plans to finish the school year at Berkeley and then begin training for the 2016 Rio Olympics, but first she’ll have to compete in the World Championships in Russia in August.
Missy has yet to decide where she’ll train or who her coach will be. Her choices include Berkeley coach Teri McKeever or her longtime coach Todd Schmitz from Colorado.
Franklin told Swim Vortex she was looking forward to a bright future.
“My focus in the pool is going to be pushing myself day in and day out to be my best self and achieve my goals and I know that my new team at WME/IMG will help me use the platform I have been given to make a difference.”