Missy Franklin has accomplished more in 17 years than most people do in a lifetime, so it’s easy to understand why so many choose to ignore how young she really is. At certain times, though, like when she is preparing for her first high school meet ever, or gushing about getting introduced to Justin Bieber, the age thing is just too glaring to ignore.
This past Tuesday, Franklin took part in her first high school meet when Regis Jesuit High School team took on Highlands Ranch. Spoiler: Franklin did well – ultimately qualifying for state in all four events she opted to participate in.
Initially, Franklin caught a bit of flak from outsiders for competing at a level that she’s obviously too good for already, however, none of the people she is competing against seem to have a problem with it. Rather, they appreciate what she is doing for them and swimming in general.
"That was all I wanted to do – I want to make the sport better, definitely not take away from it at all," said Franklin, who will attend California next year. "That's what made the decision so hard was the comments. I mean, that's not their fault at all, that's them being honest and giving their opinion. I totally understand that. They are concerned that I can take attention away. It's totally true. I feel so guilty whenever that happens,” she told reporters (via HuffPo).
"Hopefully, the pros outweigh the cons here, which I hope they've been doing."
The only thing Franklin is more excited about than swimming for her high school? Meeting the Biebs, of course.
"Then he offered to show us the stage!" said Franklin, who went to the concert with a friend.
At the end of the day, Franklin will be criticized no matter what as all public people are. If it wasn’t for this, it would be for something else. That’s just the name of the game. Fortunately, she appears to have learned the most important lesson of living life in the spotlight early: do what makes you happy and deal with angry bloggers and commentators after the fact.
(Kudos Huffington Post)