AFTERSHOKZ: Due to your dual-citizenship, you had the opportunity to compete under either the Canadian or American flag during the 2012 Olympic Games. Why did you choose Team USA?
MISSY FRANKLIN: I was born in the United States, and have always felt like this was my home. I am so proud to be a Canadian, but when I dreamed of swimming in the Olympics it was always with an American flag on my cap!
AS: As a world record holder several times over, how did you motivate yourself in training to accomplish those kinds of goals?
MF: The best part of goals is that you can always set bigger and higher goals for yourself. The sense of accomplishment and pride after achieving one of my greatest goals was always the best motivation in setting and striving to achieve more!
AS: What was it like to compete in your first Olympic Games at 17-years-old? What advice would you give to other young athletes competing against people older and more experienced?
MF: It was so surreal! It was like waking up in a dream every single day. I would tell younger athletes that you are never too young to accomplish your dreams. Every athlete brings something special to the table, whether it’s their experience, talent, enthusiasm, attitude, etc! Find what makes you special and what you bring to the table and use it!
AS: Since retiring from the sport in 2018, what new passions or interests have you discovered?
MF: I absolutely love running! This is so ironic because as a swimmer my entire life, I always hated it! Now I find that running gives me what swimming did; space and time just for me when I can let go of everything and just breathe! Well, breathe very heavily, but you know what I mean!
AS: How did becoming an Olympian change your life as an athlete and a person? What advice would you give to young swimmers hoping to become like you someday?
MF: It changed my life in the most wonderful ways, but most significantly in the platform that it gave me. I would tell all younger athletes to start thinking now about what they are going to do with their platform once they accomplish their dreams. It’s never too early to think about the difference you want to make, not just in your sporting arena but outside of it as well.
Learn more about Missy Franklin here.