Perhaps the most striking thing about 17-year-old Olympic swimmer Missy Franklin is how typically teenage she really is.
Although it was clear from quite a young age that Missy was a very talented swimmer, it was the decision to forgo the outside pressure to train away from her hometown in Colorado that really accentuates what a fairytale her journey to gold has been.
Missy's tale is a shining example that with hard work and unwavering commitment, anything is possible.
Missy's victory is important on so many levels. This young Gold Medal Olympian has demonstrated that you can go for the gold without cashing in your childhood.
Her choice to pursue her dream while living the life of a typical teenager is a testament to her tenacity, talent, and investment in her family, friends, school and community.
Missy proved that you can live the dream without giving up everything else in your life.
Missy's honesty, wholesomeness and infectious happiness pull for onlookers to cheer her on.
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Her attitude in interviews and competition reminds us that adolescence is not all about angst.
In fact, her easy going manner and infectious laugh suggest a young lady without a care in the world; a far cry from the top ranked competitive athlete she has proven to be.
Missy Franklin is a shining reminder that anything is possible. She role models to today's teens that with the right attitude, energy and dedication, when you go for the gold, you might just win.
What athletes inspire you?
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