Missy Franklin Opens Up About Rio Disappointment, Surrogate Mother

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.

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I’m wondering whether her failure was a contribution to turning pro a d having distractions of endorsement appearance and events, commitment, etc. I wonder if she would give up all those just to excel in the pool. Hope she can rebound again.


I don’t think so. It’s a very difficult sport to keep that edge. You can’t just want it, you have to NEED it, and that’s hard to maintain. She probably felt that lust to excel for almost a decade; well before we heard of her…and I think she was burned out.


I think you’re probably right. Even as a mediocre college swimmer I struggled with keeping the fire lit towards the end of my career. I hope Missy finds it again!


It’s hard to imagine her ever returning to her best. I can see a Schmitt-like comeback at best where shes successful again but not the same. I kind of hope she proves me wrong


Was hoping we wouldn’t have another Katie Hoff on our hands with Missy Franklin.


Many swimmers have to deal with this type of failure at every meet. Keep in perspective.

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona and the University of Florida. She got her M.S. in Criminology from Florida State and seems exceptionally confused about which team she should cheer for during the college football season. Lauren is currently working on her M.A. in …

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