Is it fair to hop back in a high school pool after winning five Olympic medals? Probably not.
Still, that’s the question facing 17-year-old Missy Franklin. She recently signed up to swim at Cal next year with Olympic coach Teri McKeever, but Missy said the decision about whether or not to continue her high school career is more stressful.
“If I had anyone who swims high school come up to me and tell me they don’t want me to swim, I would absolutely not swim,” Franklin told the AP. “But everyone who I’ve talked to has been so supportive of it. It’s so hard when I have so many people that are really wanting me to do it and so supportive, and I have other people who are saying it’s not fair. ‘Why would you do this to other girls?’”
Missy, who took home female athlete of the year and shared relay of the year honors with London teammates Rebecca Soni, Dana Vollmer, and Allison Schmitt at Monday night’s Golden Goggles in New York, told the USA Today that she has “no gut feeling on this” and has turned to her parents for help.
The swimming phenom said she’ll decide as soon as possible, but it’s really no decision at all: she should swim. Yes, she’ll likely clobber anyone she gets in the pool with, but she’s a high schooler, arguably a kid, and she shouldn’t have the joy of competing with her friends taken away because she excels at what she does. She shouldn’t be made to feel bad for her talents or the awards she’s worked so hard to achieve.
And who knows, going against one of the world’s top swimmers might help them get better, too.
What do you think?
Australian golfer Marc Leishman will miss the Rio Olympics due to his wife’s health.
“Many of you may know that last April my children and I almost lost my wife, Audrey, to toxic shock syndrome,” Leishman said in a statement. “Since then Audrey has been prone to infection and is far removed from 100 percent recovery of her immune system.
“We have consulted with Audrey’s physician and due to her ongoing recovery from toxic shock and potential risks associated with the transmission of the Zika virus, it was a difficult yet easy decision not to participate.
“I missed playing in the 2015 Masters tournament to be at her side when she was originally stricken and I cannot risk placing her health in jeopardy.
“The Masters and the Olympics are the two biggest tournaments to which a golfer can be invited; however, my family will always come before golf.”
Leishman, 32 with one PGA Tour win, joined the projected Olympic field when countryman Adam Scott said last month that he would skip Rio.
World No. 1 Jason Day is assured one of two Olympic spots for Australian men when the 60-man field is determined based on July 11 world rankings.
With No. 7 Scott and No. 35 Leishman out, the next-best Aussie is No. 63 Marcus Fraser.
Three more major champions — Vijay Singh, Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel — also said in April they would not compete in Rio.
Golf returns to the Olympics for the first time since 1904.
MORE: Australia Olympic legend blasts Adam Scott
Rory McIlroy believes golf may not remain in the Olympics after 2020 following a string of major champions announcing they will skip the sport’s return at the Rio Games.
“Because of how [Olympic golf is] being approached in golf circles … I’m not sure if we’re going to have another opportunity to win a gold medal after [Tokyo 2020],” McIlroy said ahead of the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, N.C., on Wednesday.
In 2009, the International Olympic Committee voted to re-add golf and rugby to the Olympic program for the 2016 Olympics, with a review in 2017 if they would remain for the 2020 Olympics.
In 2013, Tokyo was elected host city for the 2020 Olympics with a plan that includes golf.
Beyond 2020, golf does not yet have a place in the Olympics. Its chances for the 2024 Olympics could come into focus when that host city is chosen in September 2017.
McIlroy, ranked No. 3 in the world, has repeated he will play for Ireland in the first Olympic golf tournament since 1904 in Rio in August.
Fellow major champions Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel and Vijay Singh said last month they will not play in the Rio Olympics.
MORE: Golf Channel’s Olympic broadcast schedule