Will Missy Franklin Be The Greatest Female Olympian in the Future

  24 Gold Medal Mel Stewart | August 04th, 2012 | Featured, London 2012 Olympics, News

Missy Franklin won her fourth gold medal in the 4×100 medley relay, bringing her London-haul to five Olympic medals in all. In the future, will she be the greatest female Olympian of all-time? Compared to the greatest, Missy more than stacks up after her first Olympic Games.

Among the greats:

 Jackie Joyner Kersee won 5 medals in track and field, but at four Olympics.

Natalie Coughlin won 12 medals in swimming in three Olympics, medaling in every race, a tough career performance to beat.

And the greatest female Olympian of all-time, Larisa Latynina, won 18 medals in gymnastics at three Olympics.

Missy’s only 17 years old, with three more Olympics in her future: 2016 in Rio, 2020, and 2024 where she’ll be 29.  Also, she’s pacing herself, not going pro, not going for the money, choosing to compete at the NCAA level. That bodes well for the future in terms of balance and building an even bigger athletic-base.

I think Missy has shot, albeit I’m making this judgment early on.

A bold comparison for Missy, and forgive me for this, might be Michael Phelps. If Missy’s freestyle develops more, if more power and speed come with age, she could be aiming for 23 medals by 2024. Yes, it’s a long way off, and a lot has to happen, but it’s good to dream.

What do you think?  What has to happen for Missy to continue her Olympic succees into the future?

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24 Comments on "Will Missy Franklin Be The Greatest Female Olympian in the Future"


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WHOKNOWS
4 years 19 days ago

It’s not going to happen – unless they change the order of events.

DanJohnRob
4 years 19 days ago

I love your optimism Mel! But I’m not so sure it will work out that way. For now I think we should all be grateful for the gift that Missy Franklin is to US swimming! She is a breath of fresh air. Who wouldn’t want a daughter or neighbor or friend like her? I think her success combined with her effervescent personality will combine to bring LOTS of young girls into the sport!

Skip Thompson
4 years 19 days ago

This reminds me of 2004 when we were saying the same thing about Katie Hoff and I must say up until the middle of 2007 you would not be far off the mark with the records and performances that she was swimming at that time. Hoff was about the same age as Franklin and until this last year an a half, I would say she was easily the equal to Franklin in terms of what events she was World Ranked in at the time.

The 1000 Free swim that was done in December 2007 was so impressive and if I remember correctly she broke a National Record by 10 seconds. She won 5 events at Olympic Trials and a lot of swimming experts picked her to win 5 Gold Medals. She held the World Record going into the 2008 Olympics in the 400 IM. Then something happened at the 2008 Olympics and then it was all over.

Dagny Knutson was another swimmer being highly touted like Phelps and then misfortune hit and you don’t her much about her anymore. I think we have to give Missy some time and see what she does in the next couple of years before we start comparing her to Phelps. We could see this coming with Phelps in 2001 and 2002 and then 2003 at the World Championships he was the best or challenging the best in about 6 events.

Franklin right now is dominate in the back but not in the other events on the world wide level but that could change in the next couple of years. I want to see how she does at the next World Championships before I start saying she is another Phelps.

4 years 19 days ago

Agree with many of your points Skip, about needing to see more to decide. For me, however, this isn’t all that reminiscent of Hoff in 2004, because Hoff hadn’t won an Olympic medal, whereas Franklin already has 5. That’s a big difference. She does need to get a little bit better in her freestyle though if she wants to be the “best female Olympian ever”. That’s a TALL task to conquer.

Jg
4 years 19 days ago

In 2004 Hoff was like 14.

Hoff peaked in 07 at 17 -had the Olys been in 07 she could have taken out the ims & 400/800 & 800 relay but Aust were strong on the 400 relays.

It has a lot to do with timing which affects girls more.

gosharks
4 years 19 days ago

?? But she swam best times in all 5 of her primary events in 2008 and set a WR at age 19.

DanJohnRob
4 years 18 days ago

My impression is that, with regard to personality, Franklin and Hoff are nothing alike. Of course, I don’t know either person directly, but it always seemed like the stress of major competitions was almost overwhelming to Katie, as it certainly would have been to me. Missy seems to enjoy the competition and avoid internalizing the stress. That’s a hard thing to teach, but it could really help her in the upcoming years!

liquidassets
4 years 19 days ago

What happened to Dagny Knutson? All I heard was that she was too sick to compete at Olympic Trials, but no details.

Jg
4 years 19 days ago

Don’t ask for more details than what is offered.

Whatever it is the girl is entitled to privacy .

junker23
4 years 19 days ago

Oh, an all-time great retires – quick, who’s going to be the next one to do the same impossible things?!

She’s a great swimmer, but won’t be another Phelps. There won’t be another Phelps.

JEREMY
4 years 18 days ago

That’s funny.

I remember somebody once saying there would never be another Mark Spitz.

Then along came Michael Phelps.

WHOKNOWS
4 years 19 days ago

Remember Missy has had one coach during her swim career. There is a special bond. This bond will be broken when she heads off to college. Things will not be the same. The question will be, “How will Missy fair without her lifetime coach?”

FREEBEE
4 years 18 days ago

As of this morning (8/6/11)it seems that Missy is leaving the professional door open–(she said they would discuss it?? I never heard her say that) –this was a big moment for both of them and it will be hard to see 1-3 million walk out the door . . . .

Josh
4 years 19 days ago

I think it will be a tougher road for Missy because we’re in an era of specialization. Ranomi Kromowidjojo for instance, only swims the 50 and 100 free. She doesn’t go up to the 200 free, doesn’t swim the 100 fly, sticks to her bread and butter events and bases all her training on them. As a result of the parity in swimming, I think you’re going to see swimmers take on less Phelpsian/Lochtean programs at big meets and more paring down to a few events.

YH
4 years 19 days ago

Even so, Franklin can focus her training mostly on her 1/2 back (and it looks like that’s what she has done this year) while doing just enough training for her freestyle to get on the relay teams. That would be enough to get 5 medals again in Rio and probably in 2020.

DanJohnRob
4 years 18 days ago

I totally agree that this is what we will see. I don’t even think she’ll TRY to be the next Phelps, but she may end up the most decorated FEMALE Olympic swimmer (i.e.: >12 medals) and she could possibly join Phelps in the 3-peat category with 100/200 back (probably only achieving 100 back).

4 years 19 days ago

Josh, i agree with you.
Its hard to predict something like that because the world is changing too fast, new talents emerging from everywhere.Maybe there is a 15 year-old somewhere doing 55 and 2:00 minutes in 100 and 200 free and in 4 yearls she will be 51 and 1:50 beast in her events.Its unlikely, but not impossible.

Jg
4 years 19 days ago

Lots of good things can happen & lots of inconvenient stuff.

Good luck to her with it all.

Jeff
4 years 19 days ago

Missy can do well in the 200IM/400free… She can also win seven medals @ the next olympics.. She narrowly missd medals in 100/200free

Aufman
4 years 19 days ago

Missy Franklin will be the greatest Olympian of all times in 12 years. She will surpass Michael Phelps in most medals won. She will win at least 20 golds and a total of 30 medals. She will win 9 or 10 golds in 2020. Phelps is already yesterday’s old news and will be shoved to the side just like Spitz. Missy is already better than Phelps right now and she is just getting started.

gosharks
4 years 19 days ago

Relax.

Hippo-K12
4 years 18 days ago

9 or 10 golds in a single olympics??? then a pig can climb the tree 2… dream on…

jean michel
4 years 19 days ago

Missy could be much faster if she was focused only on freestyle swims …like 100 and 200. that`s entirely up to her to decide from London . we will see what`s cooking .

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About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly.As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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