Colorado native Missy Franklin had a disappointing Rio Olympics this summer. Four years after the star swimmer won five medals, including four golds, in London, Franklin won only one medal in Brazil — and that was for a relay event in which she didn’t even participate in the finals.
Earlier this week, Franklin opened up about her struggles with John Meyer of the Denver Post. Franklin, who’s still just 21, cited a “lack of balance” that might have contributed to some slower times in the pool.
Here’s the full quote:
“The major thing that I’ve pinpointed is the lack of balance I had in my life for that year. My whole life, my parents helped me feel well-rounded and so much more than just a swimmer. I’ve always had school, I’ve always had friends, I’ve always had family.
But in retrospect I took away school, I took away teammates that were all going towards the same goal, I took away friends. All of the amazing friendships I had made were back in California. I was here, alone, living in my parents’ basement, and I was just Missy the swimmer for a year. I don’t think that was good for me personally, I don’t think that was good for me emotionally or mentally, and I really struggled with a lot of that. That came through in my swimming performance.”
Franklin attended the University of California-Berkeley for two years before she left in May 2015. Shortly thereafter, Franklin returned to Colorado to train with her long-time club coach in the year leading up to the 2016 Olympics.
Franklin seems to regret that decision now. She announced in August that she planned to return to Cal-Berkeley to finish up her degree and continue training.
“I think I have so much left to learn from the sport, so much left to give to it,” Franklin said on ABC’s “Good Morning America” in August. “So I would love to be in 2020.”