Missy Franklin on Being a Champion in Victory and Defeat
This week’s conversation is with Missy Franklin, a five-time Olympic gold medalist and two-time FINA World Swimmer of the Year.
Missy retired from swimming in December of 2018 after an incredible career.
In 2011, she established herself as one of the top swimmers in the world when she won five medals – three of them gold – at the 2011 FINA World Championships in Shanghai.
At the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Missy won four gold medals and one bronze medal.
Missy’s performance in the 200-meter backstroke broke the world record in the event and also marked the first time that an American had won the event in 40 years.
Missy was named “World Swimmer of the Year" and "American Swimmer of the Year" by Swimming World Magazine and earned the ESPY for "Best Female Olympian "in 2013 and "Best Female College Athlete" in 2015.
Missy brought home another gold medal from the 2016 Rio Olympics for her performance in the 4 x 200 relay but viewed those Olympic Games as one of the most challenging experiences of her life.
A shoulder injury leading up to the games derailed her both physically and mentally and continued to hamper her in the years after those Games.
And that’s something we touch on in this conversation.
Missy shares how she dealt with the first real adversity she faced in her life and the depression that followed it.
In Missy words:
“It’s not about whether or not someone's gone through more than you or whether or not someone's lost more or gained more, it's just about being human together and knowing that we all experience these emotions based on so many different things.”
And I think that's something really important to think about-- regardless of our upbringing, status, or fame, we all go through something, we all experience adversity.
No one lives a "perfect" life but it's how we learn from those moments and help each other get better at managing them.
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