Jan 15, 2013, 9:00 AM EDT
Four-time Olympic medalist Missy Franklin swam for Jesuit High School (Aurora, Colo.) in a meet on Jan. 8 — yes, she’s a senior in high school — which had to be a bit daunting for the competition. But no, she did not actually race with a water bottle balanced on her head. That would have just been showing off. That was just for practice between events … the water bottle thing is a training method to help you keep your head straight.
Franklin competed in four races — two individual and two relay — against Highlands Ranch and Cherry Creek, and won all of them. She has committed to swim for the University of California at Berkeley next year. But swimming for her high school team has generated a bit of controversy.
“Love you Missy, but just to ask . . . Why bother?” wrote powderhoundMJ in the comment section of a Denver Post story on Nov. 28. “That’s like me going to my kids’ elementary school field day and challenging them in the 50-yard dash. You’re going to win by pool lengths, not body lengths.”
Or, from The KIMN Chicken, “I’d hate to be the girl that finishes second in the state meet. Seems kind of ridiculous for her to swim against kids that have no chance … “
But Franklin says she does it because she wants to hang out with her friends and just be a normal kid … after all, your high school years are something you never get back. She does feel guilty about all the attention she draws, however.
“Missy felt just sick about it, terrible,” said Franklin’s mother, D.A. “She felt, ‘High school swimming is a place where I can relax and just be Missy, be with my friends on the team and in the state, just have fun and enjoy it.’ … She didn’t want it to be The Missy Show.”
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