Missy Franklin burst onto the swimming scene with a splash when she won three golds, a silver and a bronze at last year’s world championships in Shanghai.
In London, the US teenager could — if all goes according to plan — pick up seven gold medals, thereby bettering East Germany’s Kirstin Otto’s feat of six golds from 1988.
The 17-year-old with world championship experience is a rookie when it comes to the Olympics.
Michael Phelps, whose own performance in London could be overshadowed by Franklin, is amazed at the energy that the Pasadena-born swimmer has.
The 14-time Olympic champion has told Franklin that she can come to him for any advice, at any time.
“This week will be completely new to her. She will need to control that emotional energy for the swims as that will be the thing where she needs it,” said Phelps who will also contest seven events.
“It will be tough, but if she can manage, the she can do really well. The last few days in Beijing I got really tired and I am sure she will feel the same.” Franklin, who has entered the 100 metres and 200m freestyle, as well as the 100m and 200m backstroke and the three relays, is aware that it will be tough.
“It definitely is very hard to focus. It is all just so exciting and so much fun. I am running around taking photographs and giving hugs to everybody, I am so happy,” she said.
“I am literally going off the wall with all my energy and I know I have to keep energy conserved.” Like a star-struck teenager, Franklin said she enjoys seeing all other athletes.
She said she first saw the Williams sisters — Venus and Serena — when the team received their Olympic clothes. “Seeing the Williams sisters in real life was so cool and I would enjoy sitting down with them,” she said.