U.S. swimmer Missy Franklin is a new American hero — a demon in the water who has one Olympic gold medal and counting. Here's some stuff you should know about her:
She's Canadian. WTF?
Yes, this great new hope for American glory is, well, kinda Canadian. Her parents, Dick and D.A. Franklin, are both Canucks and she has dual citizenship. Her Google+ profile IDs her as an "American/Canadian" swimmer. (Please change that.) But don't get any ideas, Canada. The gold is ours.
She's an amateur.
In a highly unusual move for an athlete of her caliber, Missy has rejected 6-figure sponsorships and refused prize money so she can compete in college athletics.
She sets world records.
Missy set the first world record by a woman since those weird high-tech bodysuits were banned when she swam a 2:00.03 in the 200M backstroke in October 2011. In December of that year she swam the freestyle leg for the U.S. team that set the world record time of 3:45.56 in the 200m medley relay.
She already had 3 gold medals.
Not Olympic ones, but still. Missy took home three golds, one silver and one bronze at the 2011 World Aquatics Championships in China.
She's an athletic freak.
In a good way. 6-foot-1. 6-foot-4 wingspan. Size 13 feet. 8.5-inch-long hands. If you had to build a swimmer from scratch she'd look like Missy Franklin.
She & Justin Bieber are flirting on Twitter.
They would look cute together. She could fit his whole head in her hand.
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) July 31, 2012
— Missy Franklin (@FranklinMissy) July 31, 2012
She believes in karma.
According to her USA Swimming bio, she "Always does small good deeds before every swim meet." Whatever you're doing, it's working. Go donate some chickens or something before tonight's race.
She's close to the Colorado tragedy.
Missy is an incoming senior at Regis Jesuit High School. It's located in Aurora, Colorado, where 12 people were killed and 58 injured in the recent theater shooting at the Dark Knight Rises movie premiere. She is dedicating her Olympic performance to the victims.
Kevin Nealon gave her an award.
The ex-SNL funnyman and Weeds star hosted the 8th annual USA Swimming Foundation Golden Goggle Awards in November 2011. Missy was named Female Athlete of the Year. Her male counterpart was Ryan Lochte. She also won Female Race of the Year and Relay Performance of the Year.
She's a workhorse and a pioneer.
Missy is the first American female swimmer to compete in seven events at the Olympics.
She needs a new nickname.
They call her Missy the Missile. But after she stole the spotlight from the fast-fading Ryan Lochte, we think she's more deserving of his "The Great Wet Hope" label.
God loves her.
The most incredible swimmer in history, the deity of American swimming, Michael Phelps, has said of Missy: "She's a stud."
She was a water baby.
Missy's mom said she was swimming solo at age 2. Is anyone surprised?
She's a water mammal.
Missy is as awkward on land as she is graceful in the water. "I know that I was born to be in the water because I can't walk on land at all," she said. "I trip and fall over flat surfaces." She's also said "I just feel like a dolphin."
But she can bust a move.
Missy is the star of the U.S. Swim team's viral video spoof of Carly Rey Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe." Check her hair-whipping solo in the airplane aisle.
She loves hip-hop.
"I absolutely love music. It makes me so happy," she tells Teen Vogue. "Country and hip-hop are my favorite genres, and I like to listen to hip-hop bevore races because it gets me dancing and relaxed."
She keeps it casual.
Missy is no glamor girl. "I'm a casual Colorado girl," she says. "My closet is full of Lululemon, jeans, and sweats."
She's, like, totally a 17-year-old girl.
"I've heard that Prince Harry and (British boy band) One Direction will be at the Olympics!" she tells Teen Vogue. "And I can't imagine anything more exciting than meeting them!!!"