The much-hyped Michael Phelps-Lochte rivalry hasnt materialized thus far, but Franklin made sure the American fans in the stands had plenty to wave their flags about.
Franklin admitted she nearly lost it on the medal podium during the national anthem. She came close to crying, and forgot the words at one point.
It feels absolutely incredible, Ive dreamed about this moment my whole life and I cant believe that just happened, she said. I never thought Id be able to do it at 17 and I couldnt be happier right now Its absolutely indescribable. I just saw that No. 1 and after imagining that happening for so long it just doesnt seem real. You still feel like youre dreaming.
The fact that she swam two events back-to-back with 14 minutes in between impressed even Phelps. He sought her out afterward and gave her a high five, telling her he couldnt imagine how she did that, having never had less than 30 minutes between races himself.
She said the fact that swimming officials let her warm down from her first heat in the diving well rather than taking the five-minute walk through the media interview zone to the regular warm down pool was huge. When swimmers finish races, they get right back in the water and slowly swim laps to avoid lactic acid buildup and muscle cramps. Typically, they leave the main arena and swim in private. But this was a special circumstance.
Franklin loved the hectic pace.
I did like 375 meters, and I usually do 1,200. Then, I ran right back into the ready room for the 100 backstroke and it was so much fun. I love doing back-to-back doubles like that. It just gets me so excited. Doesnt really leave you any time to get nervous, so I was still in my little adrenaline high.
And then she giggled. And giggled some more.
Heading into these Olympics, Franklin was considered the future star of American swimming. Turns out, she was ahead of schedule. She swims again Tuesday night in the 200-meter freestyle final.