In the span of 24 hours, Olympic swimming sensation Missy Franklin met Justin Bieber at his concert in Denver, made morning swim practice at 4:45 a.m., went to classes all day, competed in her first high school swim meet of the year and on top of that was named Colorado’s Amateur Athlete of the Year.
But the whirlwind of activity didn’t seem to faze the 17 year old, who is soaking it all in during her last year at Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora.
Franklin swam in her first high school meet since winning five medals, four of them gold at the 2012 London Olympics. She turned down millions of dollars in potential endorsements to remain an amateur and swim in college next year at the University of California Berkley.
But the usually calm and businesslike Franklin says she was more nervous about swimming in the meet Tuesday, than she was about meeting Bieber.
At an impromptu poolside news conference Franklin told reporters she was an emotional wreck in the locker room before the meet.
"All my teammates were like, 'What is wrong with you'?'" Franklin said. "I was so nervous and I love that. It shows me that the excitement of the sport is still there, no matter where you go. It can be here or the Olympics, but I still get so excited to get in the pool every single time."
Franklin swam two individual events and two relays in the dual meet against Highlands Ranch and Cherry Creek. No surprises as she won the events and qualified for state.
Franklin said at first she considered not swimming her senior year at Regis because she didn’t want to be a distraction to her team. But she said she decided to stay an amateur so she could still compete in high school and college.
"It was so awesome to come back to my first high school dual meet in what feels like forever. It was great," she added.
After the meet Franklin posed for photos with the opposing team’s swimmers and signed autographs.
She plans to swim in one more dual meet and compete in state to finish out her Colorado high school swimming career.