USA Swimming star Missy Franklin wrote an article for The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, reflecting on her Rio disappointment and opening up about her surrogate mother. Franklin’s mother found out that she wasn’t able to have children when she was young, so her parents decided on surrogacy when they were ready to start a family. Franklin says her parents have always been open about the circumstances of her birth, and they’ve come to view her surrogate mother as a special family friend.
In the article, she also talks about her upbringing, and how close she is with her parents. They moved to Colorado 3 months after she was born, and her parents first took her to swim lessons when she was 6 months old. They supported her when she started swimming year-round at 7 years old, and continued to do so as she developed into the world class swimmer she is today.
Franklin went on to reflect on Rio, sharing her disappointment about not making finals in her individual events. She said she fely empty, even though she came home with a relay gold. But the worst part, she said, was that the failure happened in front of billions of people.
“I had to come to grips with failure, and it wasn’t an easy time. I had to find a way to deal with the disappointment. What’s worse, the failure had occurred in front of billions of people.”
Instead of trying to get past the Rio experience, Franklin will use the experience to make herself a better athlete and person. She’s now back in training at the University of California, with the goal of falling in love with the sport again.