Bryce Boyer

Golden Girl: A Photo Slideshow

While she's a prodigy in the pool, Missy Franklin has a typical teenage social life, too. The soon-to-be high school senior has a full load of classes—she carries a 3.9 grade point average—and a host of friends with whom she always stays in contact.

Golden Girl: A Photo Slideshow

Missy Franklin and 5280 senior staff writer Robert Sanchez embrace after their race. Franklin swam twice Sanchez's distance and still beat him by nearly two seconds.

Golden Girl: A Photo Slideshow

5280 senior staff writer Robert Sanchez put on a Speedo and a cap and goggles for the first time so he could race Missy Franklin in the pool. "I wanted to understand what Missy looked like under water so I could convey that to readers," Sanchez says. "It was beautiful."

Golden Girl: A Photo Slideshow

Missy Franklin and her father, Dick. "Regardless of her swimming ability," he says, "I could never have imagined having such an amazing kid. She brightens my life."

Golden Girl: A Photo Slideshow

Missy Franklin set two world records as a 16-year-old and last year was named the world's best female swimmer. Now, the Regis Jesuit High School student is poised for Olympic stardom this summer in London.

Golden Girl: A Photo Slideshow

"She has the most remarkable ability to make each race the most important thing in her life,” one of Missy Franklin's coaches says of her. “It’s like nothing else exists."

Golden Girl: A Photo Slideshow

Missy Franklin is an all-American teenager. She keeps up with school work, has a boyfiend, and spends much of her time at home in Centennial with her parents, Dick and D.A. Franklin.

Golden Girl: A Photo Slideshow

Three years ago, a stroke analyist from USA Swimming met then-14-year-old Missy Franklin at a pool and shot video of her. Seeing the teenager for the first time, the man was stunned. Even at Missy's age, he says, her stroke was "just so—ideal."

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