PHOENIX, Arizona, October 23. TODAY'S edition of The Morning Swim Show covers a wide range of topics with Missy Franklin, from the Olympics and Justin Bieber to picking Cal and enjoying the “post-Olympics craze.”
Franklin, decked out in full Cal gear, talked about the arduous — and slightly funny — process of choosing to swim in Berkeley. While maintaining tremendous respect for the other schools she considered, Franklin said calling the other schools to inform them of her choice was the hardest part of recruiting. Part of the reason she's enjoying the entire post-Olympic experience is being around friends, both at Colorado Stars and at Regis Jesuit High School. She also relives some of the memories from the Olympics and how she was able to handle such a tough event schedule in London, both mentally and physically. Be sure to visit SwimmingWorld.TV for more video interviews.
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Jeff Commings: This is The Morning Swim Show for Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012. I'm your host, Jeff Commings. Today in the FINIS Monitor is Missy Franklin, who, as the entire world now knows, is going to be a California Golden Bear next year. Let's get right to it and join Missy right now from Aurora, Colorado. Well, Missy, it looks like those few viewers who didn't know that you're going to Cal officially know. Congratulations on that decision.
Missy Franklin: Thank you so much.
Jeff Commings: I imagine that after you called Teri McKeever, you just couldn't wait to get all your Cal stuff on.
Missy Franklin: No, I absolutely couldn't, and I'll take these off now. I just needed the visual. I have a really funny story about that actually. So my parents and I had a really long discussion. Jack Baurle, head coach of Georgia, came over to the house on Thursday, and so on Friday of this week, we had a really long discussion, and my parents and I sat down and talked over all the schools and pros and cons, and it was an awesome family discussion. And at the end, we unanimously decided that Cal was going to be the best place for me, and so right after this, doing dishes after dinner, my Dad goes on his iPad and I hear, “Missy, will you bring me my wallet?” And I was, like, “Sure Dad. I'll bring you your wallet.” So I go over and get it, and he bought $500 worth of Cal gear before I even committed to the school. So that was a good way to start off the Cal apparel.
Jeff Commings: That's great. So I imagine you are also able to sleep a little bit easier now, because I just remember college recruiting is such an intense process.
Missy Franklin: It is. It is so much fun. It really is. It's a blast but it's exhausting. And with all the school that I've been missing too, I was able to catch up on homework this weekend, so this weekend was just awesome because I felt like I had a huge weight lifted off my shoulders, and I am so happy about my decision.
Jeff Commings: Well, if it wasn't for this “Pretty Little Liars” cameo you got later this week, I could say you just returned to normal life.
Missy Franklin: You know what? I guess I can't complain about going to see “Pretty Little Liars,” though. I'm so excited for that. I can't wait.
Jeff Commings: Yes. I remember you saying it's your favorite show. It's got to be a really big, one of the best things to come out of this post-Olympic experience.
Missy Franklin: Definitely. I'm so excited to go there. I think it will be so much fun. And I think a lot of swimmers can relate to the fact that we don't have a lot of time to watch TV, especially on a regular basis. But “Pretty Little Liars” is one of the shows that I watch every single episode, so to actually go out there and meet the cast and the crew and be on an episode is going to be so much fun.
Jeff Commings: Yes, I'm sure. Let's go back to choosing Cal. If I remember correctly, it was your first recruiting trip. So was it always the top choice or would it kind of go back and forth along the way?
Missy Franklin: I made sure I had an open mind through all my recruiting trips. I had such a wonderful time at Cal, and as soon as I walked on that campus, I just felt like I was at home there, and the whole team was incredible, and I already felt like I was a part of it. But with that being said, I know that I also had a few other amazing schools to visit, and I needed to be extremely open-minded about it and go in there, and I think I did a good job of that. I had so much fun on all my other trips, and it was such a hard decision.
Jeff Commings: Well, obviously, your two-year history with Teri McKeever on various national teams probably played a big part, but what else was it about either the school or the swim team that made the difference in picking Cal?
Missy Franklin: There is so much. I mean I could barely even begin to explain it, but that's just where my heart is. And like I said, the second I walked on that campus, it's so beautiful and a place I could really see myself, like, sitting down at a coffee shop there and getting homework done or going out with the girls to see San Francisco, like we did on our recruiting trip, and everything about it was so perfect. And the team is just absolutely incredible and they are so close, and just knowing that I am going to be a part of that, like, gives me chills. I'm so excited.
Jeff Commings: And you definitely, you won't have to shovel snow anymore.
Missy Franklin: I will not have to shovel, which is very nice.
Jeff Commings: What was the hardest part for you about the recruiting process?
Missy Franklin: The hardest part for me was calling the other coaches, telling them I had committed to Cal because I have gone to such great schools and talked to so many unbelievable coaches. And I hate disappointing people, and so calling them and just letting them know that I was at Cal, like, I was so excited to be at Cal, but at the same time, it was so hard to let them know that I wasn't going to their school. But I also get to work with a lot of these coaches in the future on national team trips, which is what I need to remember, and I can't wait to work with all of them, and they were all so supportive, and I know that they're happy that I am happy.
Jeff Commings: What was it like going through all of this knowing that you were the top high school recruit this season?
Missy Franklin: I didn't really think of it like that, and none of the coaches acted like that either. Every trip was just like another recruit, which is exactly what I am, and so it was awesome going in there with a bunch of other girls and just having a great time together, and they never really put emphasis on the fact that I was the number one recruit because I really don't think that matters. I mean if someone really, really wants to be at your school and wants to be a part of it and they can give something to your team and you can give something to them, I think that's truly all that matters.
Jeff Commings: In the middle of all this, you had all of that post-Olympic excitement. I mean you're filming a movie with Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, you're going on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, as I said, the “Pretty Liars Thing,” got to meet Carly Rae Jepsen. I mean the list goes on and on. How prepared were you for all of this?
Missy Franklin: I was a little taken aback. I mean I definitely had heard that after the Olympics, there's definitely the post-Olympics craze where things go crazy with media and there is so much fun stuff that you get to do. But I have been given so many opportunities that I never thought I'd be able to get. Every time I'm going someplace, even though it's exhausting, I kind of need to keep pinching myself and reminding me how awesome this whole experience has been.
Jeff Commings: What's been the best part of your life since coming back from the Olympics?
Missy Franklin: Oh gosh. Honestly, just spending time with my family and friends and being back here at Regis. I missed it so much this summer when I was away, and I love being with my team out there so much, but coming back here, just being a senior again, and going to football games, and my friends and I just went to The Melting Pot for my friend's birthday last night, which was so good. But just doing really fun things like that and just still being me and having an amazing time with everything that's going on in my life right now.
Jeff Commings: Has it been an easy process for you to come back and just be Missy Franklin?
Missy Franklin: It has. It really has. My friends have pulled me right back in like nothing happened, and the whole school has been — it's just coming back to school like I would have regardless of what happened this summer. And I think the one thing that has been really different for me is all the recognition when I go places. I'm still trying to get adjusted to that. But I love when people come up to me and say hi, and I've been able to meet amazing people, so —
Jeff Commings: I would imagine returning all that Justin Bieber stuff was the worst part.
Missy Franklin: Returning the Justin Bieber stuff was extremely unfortunate. But I think the NCAA will be worth it.
Jeff Commings: Yes, I'm sure it would. So let's get to the present day. How's training been going for you?
Missy Franklin: It's been going really, really well. It's been awesome being back at Stars and with Todd, and it's been really hard managing swimming on top of all the school I've been missing and all the media traveling that I've been having to do. So still working on trying to find a balance for that, and I think that's what's stressing me out the most lately because I'm having to prioritize everything that's happening in my life because there is so much that I want to prioritize at the top but I just can't. So swimming has been going great and I love being at practice again. I took I think five weeks off after the Olympics, and it was the most horrible, awful thing ever. It was so terrible. And as every swimmer knows, getting back into shape is never fun. But I'm feeling stronger and stronger every day, and we're going to Minnesota Grand Prix soon, so I think that will be a good kind of test of where I am right now.
Jeff Commings: And then you're looking ahead, kind of, I guess, nobody wants to assume anything, but just kind of believing that you will be going to the World Championships next summer, are you going to be going for the same kind of event schedule that you did at the Olympics or is that even decided yet?
Missy Franklin: Definitely not decided yet. I would love to be at World Championships this summer, so that's obviously the goal right now, is training for World Champ trials. But I mean whatever happens happens. I mean we'll do exactly what we did before the Olympics, and hopefully, everything works out, and I mean any event, I'd be happy to swim there, so —
Jeff Commings: Yes. A lot of people I think were looking at that, and I know you weren't the type of person to read a lot of media reports before the Olympics or anything like that, but everybody was wondering if seven events were going to be enough, was it too much for your first Olympics? I mean how were you able to handle not just the physical but the mental stress of all those events at the Olympics?
Missy Franklin: It was extremely hard. It was very difficult, and I could not have done it without my teammates and my coaches. They're the only things that got me through that, and my parents, and just having them there to support me and help me just take it all in. And when I needed a breather, and I didn't know that but they did, they would always come over and just say, “Missy, look, just take a breath. Calm down. You're doing great. Just keep it relaxed.” That was hard I think around — Day 3 and Day 4 were the hardest days for me just because I felt like I had done so much and I still had so much to go. And I think one of the biggest things that happened is I already had an insane amount of respect for Michael for what he did in '08, but actually, swimming in seven events and I mean having even Michael do eight and win gold in all of them, like, I honestly don't know how he did that. I mean I was so exhausted after only seven events and I medaled in five, so I had the most insane amount of respect for him after that meet because of that. But just being around my teammates and them keeping it exciting and keeping it fun for me I think was the most important part on the days when I was just so tired. They got me back up and got me energized again.
Jeff Commings: How often do you take out your Olympic medals and just kind of look at them and say, “Wow?”
Missy Franklin: I had a moment the other day. We take them everywhere when we travel because wherever we go, they always want to see them. But I mean you get kind of used to just, like, pulling them out and showing people, and you sort of forget, like, what you're showing them and the fact that it's yours. And so the other day, I just kind of made a point to sit down and just hold one of my medals and just realize what I was holding and how incredible that was and how blessed I was to have this whole experience. And just as I was looking at it, there are so many things going through my head. I was thinking of the Call Me Maybe video. And I remember when Rachel Bootsma and I, we were in Vichy, France, and we took, like, a walk down by the river, and it was so gorgeous. And then we did all these shopping trips when we were in France. And then actually being at the Olympics, just seeing that medal, there are so many memories that go into something like that, and just holding it, it's hard to describe, but it's so special, and I still have trouble believing that it actually happened.
Jeff Commings: Well, there's going to be many more memories for you to come, I'm sure.
Missy Franklin: Thank you.
Jeff Commings: Well, thanks so much for joining us. I know that you got a busy day there at Regis. I hope that you're having — I know you're taking an advanced dance class. I think that's really cool. After seeing you in Call Me Maybe, I know you've got a future in dance.
Missy Franklin: I just came from that class actually. We're doing our warm-ups right now. Each student has to make up their own dance and teach it to the class, so we have ours in a few weeks which I'm excited for.
Jeff Commings: Oh boy. You've got to put that on YouTube.
Missy Franklin: Oh gosh.
Jeff Commings: Well, I'm sure everybody would love to see any dance move you make, Missy. Congratulations again on everything you've done the past few months, and I'm sure, like I said, you're going to sleep a lot easier now that you've made your college choice. And best of luck the rest of the year, and we'll see you on deck soon.
Missy Franklin: Sounds great. Thank you so much, Jeff.
Jeff Commings: All right. See you later. All right. So that's Missy Franklin joining us for today's Morning Swim Show. Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. That will do it for today's show. Join us on swimmingworld.com, on Facebook, or Twitter for the latest news. I'm Jeff Commings. Thanks for watching.
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