Missy Franklin the Favorite to Win 200m Freestyle at Nationals

The countdown to USA Swimming National Championships starts now. And the race that’s starting to look the most interesting? The women’s 200m freestyle.

In the above video, the guys from SwimSwam.com and the Gold Medal Minute met up with Missy Franklin to chat about learning to cook, Katie Ledecky, and going pro.

Missy Franklin has recently moved into her first apartment with her college dorm mate with whom she got along with really well upon moving from her native Colorado. First on her to-do list was learning to be a better cook. This meant moving beyond her previous go-to (grilled cheese) and experimenting by cooking healthy proteins like salmon.

The end of her NCAA career was somewhat disappointing because her team didn’t win the Division I title—that honor went to the swimmers from the University of Georgia. But she said that didn’t defeat the spirit of her fellow golden bears. On the contrary—“We use it as motivation. We use it to get stronger.”

Another way Missy Franklin stays motivated is by keeping her eye on the best swimmers, including the long-distance phenom Katie Ledecky. Missy's mom in particular watches Ledecky’s progress, even texting Katie’s times to Missy to keep things competitive.

“We were at dinner and my mom, who literally knows everything—I don’t know how, but she texts me and was like, ‘So Katie just broke a world record.’”

Katie Ledecky broke two records in season, an impressive feat, clocking in an 800m free time of 8:11 and swam a 15:34.23 in the 1500m freestyle.

But in her interview, Missy doesn’t seem jealous or resentful. On the contrary, she’s very excited for her friend. “She never ceases to amaze me. She’s unreal, I am so proud of her. I miss her. I wish she was here so I could see her, but if she couldn’t be here then I would of course rather her be in Texas breaking world records.”

Missy and Katie swam together when they recently both made Team USA’s 800m freestyle relay at the 2013 World Championships. Katie Ledecky—usually a distance swimmer--has been working on her 200m freestyle swim which some might think would threaten the likes of Missy Franklin. Instead, she sees it as an opportunity.

“I love it because hopefully it means we can be on more relays together so, you know, that’s the best part.”

Ledecky’s great season is sure to make the USA Swimming National meet an interesting one. Starting on August 6th, everyone has their eye on the women’s 200m freestyle race where Ledecky, Franklin, and current Olympic champion in the event Allison Schmitt (coached by swimming legend Bob Bowman) will face off. Missy Franklin won gold in the event at the 2013 World Championship where she swam a 1:54.81. Ledecky’s best time in the 200 free came this season when she swam a 1:55.79.

Mel Stewart, 3-time Olympic medalist and the host of the Gold Medal Minute, says his money is on Franklin for the win next week. I guess we’ll have to tune in and see.

Missy is sad to leave her collegiate swim career behind her, but is enthusiastic for her life as a professional to start. “I’m so lucky and blessed that I get another year of collegiate swimming in. I’m really excited for this next stage of my life and the stage that will come after as well.”

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