On the evening of Saturday August 4, 2012, 17 year-old Missy Franklin won her fourth Gold medal of the London Olympic Games when she swam the backstroke leg of the women’s 4×100 medley relay. It was Missy’s second world record of the Olympic games; it was her 5th Olympic medal.

It was a crowning moment for swimming’s brightest new star and end of a chapter of her marvelous journey. Missy Franklin, 16, is by all accounts a swimming prodigy. She stands 6’2”. Her feet are size 13. She’s blessed with the “boat” – a long, tall frame with long, flipper-like arms and like Michael Phelps, her wingspan is longer than she is tall.

But physical prowess alone doesn’t make a champion. What makes Missy truly great is her passion to compete and her intense desire to win. Like many great champions, she has the ability to turn it on when it counts – to squeeze out that little bit extra something when needed. She proved this at the 2012 US Olympic Team Trials in Omaha, Nebraska when she became the first woman to qualify for 7 Olympic events.

She solidified her status in London when she took home her 5 medals.

The best part of Missy Franklin, the swimmer? She’s just starting to tap into her potential. And the best part of Missy Franklin, the teenager? She’s having a whole lot of fun doing it.

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