Meet Missy Franklin, Olympic Gold Medalist and Animal Lover
Missy Franklin is an Olympic gold medalist, but she's as devoted to her dog as she is to swimming!
Courtesy of Missy Franklin
Missy Franklin, a swimmer hailing from Colorado, has taken the London 2012 Olympics by storm. At a youthful 17 years of age, Franklin has stormed on to the swimming scene, using her extraordinary physical and mental gifts to best her competition. Her hard work on the road to the Olympics led to her becoming an overnight phenomenon after she took the gold medal in the women's 100-meter backstroke, posting a time that bested a national record she previously set during the Olympic trials.
Despite her newfound fame and Olympic stardom, though, what is truly special about Franklin is just how down to earth she is. Choosing to avoid the traditional path that Olympians take to the Games, Franklin has stayed true and devoted to her Colorado hometown, staying home despite her career taking off. As one Washington Post article notes, Franklin made the choice to not "abandon her support system", and has stuck with the same local coach who has been helping her since she's been seven years old.
Missy's down to earth nature is clearly evident in the commonality she shares with us; that she, too, is an avid animal lover, and that there is no amount of Olympic medals that is like to change that! We had the chance to sit down with Missy and discuss life outside of the pool before she set off for London, and she shared the intimate details of life with her 120-pound Alaskan Malamute, Ruger.
1. Tell us one of your fondest memories of Ruger.
One? I have nine years of favorite memories starting when we brought him home that first day. He was eight weeks old and it was his first time away from his parents and siblings. It broke my heart and I just held him as he looked around so quiet and sad. Then when I was nine years old and he was one, we went sledding together. It was so much fun for both of us and we slept for hours afterward! Ruger is always by my side whether I’m on the sofa watching TV or doing homework so every day brings new special memories.
2. Do you train with your pet?
Ha, I do try but he doesn’t “get it”. When I get on the floor to stretch, he thinks it’s an invitation to play. He jumps on top of me then rolls over on his back to have his belly scratched.
3. Do you travel with your pet when you train or compete?
If we’re driving to a meet we always take Ruger and stay in pet friendly hotels. He gets so excited in new places and smells every inch. We try and get ground level rooms as he refuses to get in elevators. Unfortunately, I need to take flights to many meets and we just worry about that being too scary for him. We’ve always used the same kennel and they love and spoil him! They even have a label on his file saying “Best Dog Ever”. This summer, as we will be gone so much, we have a house sitter…his breeder!
4. If your pet could compete in any Olympic sport, what would it be?
Ruger would be an awesome Olympian! He is very strong and would be a great wrestler. Soccer and Rugby would also be perfect as he loves to chase and tackle. He’s so competitive and doesn’t like to lose.
- Filed Under: Olympics