(WALB) - By winning four gold and five total medals in London, Missy Franklin became the face of the Games — a face that appeared to have an ear-to-ear smile permanently affixed to it.
Now 20 years old, Franklin spent the remainder of her teen years trying to have a somewhat normal college experience.
She attended Cal, where she won multiple NCAA titles, before going pro after her sophomore season last spring.
Franklin returned home last summer to the Denver area, where she resumed training under her longtime coach Todd Schmitz.
But she struggled at the 2015 World Championships, where she said she was competing at 100% for the first time since she began dealing with a nagging back injury the previous summer.
Franklin hopes that being at home in the same training environment that led her to a triumphant Olympic outing in 2012 will get her more success in Rio.
Last year, Franklin announced her hopes of becoming the most decorated female swimmer in Olympic history, which means she needs eight more medals to break the current record of 12, held by Americans Jenny Thompson, Dara Torres, and Natalie Coughlin.
It's a number she could reach in two more Games, but that's only if Katie Ledecky doesn't get there first.