Missy Franklin Retires at 23

Decorated Olympian Missy Franklin has announced her retirement from swimming at age 23. The London Olympics fan favorite made the announcement Wednesday, Dec. 19 in a letter posted on ESPNW

Citing shoulder pain that began in April 2016 and resulted in two surgeries, one on each shoulder, a month apart in early 2017, Franklin brought to a close a decorated career that included five Olympics gold medals, a world record, numerous American records and two FINA World Swimmer of the Year honors. At the 2012 Olympics, she became the first woman in any single Olympic sport to win four gold medals. She was only 17 years old. 

In two seasons with the Cal Berkeley women's swimming and diving team, Franklin earned four NCAA individual titles: in the 200-yard backstroke, in the individual medley, and two in the 200-yard freestyle.

"It is with tears in my eyes but a full heart that I begin typing this letter," Franklin began.

The letter illustrated Franklin's love for swimming that began in early childhood. It also detailed her struggle with chronic shoulder pain leading up to the 2016 Olympics and continued even after the double shoulder surgeries. 

"Every moment I wasn't training was spent recovering with ice and rest, as I tried to heal and prepare myself for the next practice - but nothing was working. I went through three different rounds of cortisone shots, one of which was before Nationals this past summer, and also had an ultrasound bicep tendon injection at the end of September. Technically speaking, my medical diagnosis is severe chronic tendonitis of both the rotator cuff and the bicep tendon," Franklin wrote. "After the failure of my last round of shots, I had only one other option: another surgery, and even that was a long shot."

So instead of pursuing yet another surgery, Franklin decided she had reached the end of her swimming career.

"I'm ready to not be in pain every day," Franklin concluded. "I'm ready to become a wife and, one day, a mother. I'm ready to continue growing each and every day to be the best person and role model I can be. I'm ready for the rest of my life."

Franklin's immediate future includes her upcoming wedding to former swimmer Hayes Johnson. The couple got engaged in September. 

Here's to an amazing athlete with an infectious personality who was a delight to watch compete. We wish you the best, Missy!

My Three Favorite Workouts: 1000 IMs and All Out 200s

Practice #1

When Is It Time to Walk Away From Swimming?

Let’s go ahead and make one thing clear. Swimming is a brutal sport and there are absolutely going to be ups and downs throughout your career. The goal here is to help you, or someone you know, decide whether it's just a rough day or time to walk away.

Team USA Takeaways from the FINA Short Course Championships

The Short Course FINA World Swimming Championships offered great racing by the Team USA contingent. Star swimmers rose to the occasion and claimed numerous medals against the worlds best. 

USA Swimming Announces Executive Team Appointments and Promotions

USA Swimming Announces Executive Team Appointments and Promotions

Qualify Now or Later: A College Swimming Dilemma

Iowa City - The Texas Hall of Fame Invitational caught swimming attention as Wisconsin’s Beata Nelson lowered an already quick American Record in the 100-yard backstroke. Of the mid-season meets, few garner more attention than the Longhorns annual meet, comprised this year of Southern California, Arizona, Wisconsin, and Stanford’s men among others.

Help Change A Coach's Life: Vote Now For The 2018 Hometown Hero Award!

Hometown Heroes -- an award to recognize the finest coaches in the country who make an impact in the community by changing high school-age athletes' lives for the better. You have from now until Friday, November 16th to vote for the 2018 Hometown Heroes Award. The winner to take home $25,000!

Preview | Buckeyes Host In-State Foes Akron and Denison

After opening the season with five major-Division 1 foes, Ohio State is slated to match up with mid-major Akron and DIII Denison on Friday. As far as in-state competition goes, this meet brings a wide range of swimmers together.

USA Swimming Board of Directors Elects Its Officers

New 15-member board names Chair, Vice Chair and Vice Chair Fiscal Oversight

Three Top-20 Teams Take to the Pool in Columbus

Early season, inter-conference matchups are in full swing. After facing Alabama to open the season, Ohio State hosts another major season kick-off meet. Texas A&M and Louisville travel to Columbus for a meet that will simulate the competitive atmosphere of a championship meet.