Four-time Olympic champion swimmer Missy Franklin is already soaring to new heights on her return to Colorado.
Franklin, a 20-year-old nicknamed the “Missile,” flew in an F-16 with the Air Force Thunderbirds last week.
“I’ve been excited for like five days,” Franklin told Denver’s NBC affiliate 9News before her flight from Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora. “Ever since I found out I was going to be able to do this.”
Franklin is training in her native Colorado with her old coach, Todd Schmitz, leading up to the World Championships in Kazan, Russia, in August. She spent the previous two years training under Teri McKeever as a college swimmer at California before turning pro after her sophomore season.
In the F-16, Franklin said she flew above and around Pikes Peak.
“Incredibly majestic,” Franklin said on 9News.
View this post on Instagram
So this happened yesterday🙈✈️ I am SO grateful for the experience of flying in an F-16 with one of the incredible pilots of the Thunderbirds. 9.3 g's later and I have such an appreciation for what the men and women in our Air Force are capable of. Thank you for serving our country and protecting our freedom. And thank you to the Thunderbirds for being such incredible ambassadors of the Air Force!