Missy Franklin is a swimming legend! A 2-time Olympian, Missy competed for Team USA in the 2012 and 2016 Games, bringing home 5 medals and breaking world records in the 200m backstroke and the 4x100m medley relay.

We caught up with Missy to hear what she’s been up to since retiring from competitive swimming in 2018, and what’s in store for her new online course, Relentless Spirit!

Staying Positive Through the Pandemic

For Missy, it’s important to keep things in perspective when it comes to 2020. The year has been hard, but Missy is grateful to be healthy and safe. She and her husband Hayes moved back to Missy’s home state of Colorado at the end of 2019, and have been lying low and working from home as much as possible. It’s hard being away from loved ones, but it’s worth it to keep everyone safe, Missy says.

Highlights from Career

Throughout her career, Missy competed in 2 Olympic Games — London 2012 and Rio de Janeiro 2016. Looking back, there’s a lot to be proud of!

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At just 17 years old, Missy qualified for the 2012 Games and brought home gold medals in the 200m backstroke, the 100m backstroke, the 200m freestyle relay and the 4x100m medley relay, and a bronze medal for the 4x100m freestyle relay. It was surreal and still feels incredible to this day, Missy says.

But despite those historic races, Missy really enjoyed the journey, too. The small moments, like spending time with her club teammates and daily practices with her college team, the Cal Bears, were just as important as the big moments.

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One of her all-time favorite memories is the feeling of a Sunday evening after a long swim meet. Feeling tired and excited after a weekend — or a full week — of competition. After Junior Nationals in Federal Way, Washington, Missy and 4 of her teammates maintained a tradition of heading to Red Robin and ordering Clucks & Fries as a celebratory meal!

Learning from Failure

Enjoying the journey is a concept that Missy is passionate about sharing with other swimmers. In swimming, as in every aspect of life, we experience ups and downs. Those downs, Missy says, are often considered a bad thing, but they shouldn’t be. Rather, failure is an opportunity to learn. Missy notes that we often learn more from our failures and disappointments than from our successes.

Related: British Marathon Swimmer Alice Dearing | The #AskASwimPro Show

At the end of the day, it’s how we react to our failures that makes us who we are. Missy guarantees that nearly every elite swimmer would say they learned more from their worst races than from their best races. 

Keeping this perspective while going through a “down” period in training or in life can give you the motivation you need to keep pushing and come out stronger on the other side. 

Staying Busy

While she may not be on the pool deck every day anymore, Missy is working hard to use her platform to inspire people. 2020 presented a unique challenge — how could she continue to make an impact with so much of the world locked down?

Related: Jamaican National Swimmer Michael Gunning | The #AskASwimPro Show

Philanthropy is a huge part of Missy’s work. She serves on the board for YUWA, an organization in India that uses a soccer program to keep young girls out of child marriages, and works with Children’s Hospital Colorado, helping fundraise for the hospital’s new pediatric mental health wing.

She’s also an academy member of the Laureus World Sports Academy, which brings together sporting legends who are passionate about ending discrimination and disadvantage through athletics. 

And if that’s not enough, Missy co-founded the Swim Swag Store, which sells swimming-themed apparel and hats.

Relentless Spirit Online Course

Swimming teaches athletes so much, and Missy wants to help them bring those lessons into everyday life and set the foundation for achieving their goals. In January 2021, Missy is launching an online course called Relentless Spirit that aims to do just that!

In 10, 30-minute live sessions, swimmers will gain valuable tools to help them become better swimmers and better people — all from Missy herself! Sessions will cover:

  • Goal setting
  • Nutrition
  • Overcoming failure
  • Swimming technique

After speaking about the day’s topic, participants have an opportunity to ask Missy questions live. Each session will be recorded for reference in the future, and participants will have access to downloadable resources to stay on track and motivated.

Related: Jason Lezak | The #AskASwimPro Show

Whether you’re young or old, transitioning out of swimming or preparing to swim in college, Missy’s course is applicable for nearly everyone. 

The State of Swimming

2021 is going to be an interesting year for swimming. Looking to the next generation, Missy admits that she’s excited, and loves watching the sport grow. 

Team USA is a living legacy, and Missy says the next generation of swimmers is standing on the shoulders of so many great athletes and so much incredible history. She’s looking forward to watching the world’s fastest backstrokers, too. She was thrilled when Regan Smith broke her 100- and 200-meter backstroke world records!

How do you keep a positive mindset through the ups and downs of training? Share in the comments!

Want to learn from Missy Franklin herself? Register for the Relentless Spirit online course here >

Follow Missy’s journey on Instagram at @missyfranklin88, or purchase Missy’s book, Relentless Spirit.

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