Missy Franklin is an American-Canadian five-time Olympic gold medal swimmer. At just 24-years-old, Franklin is considered one of the greatest backstrokers of all time, and is known for her smily, bubbly personality. She recently retired from swimming after a shoulder injury sidelined her, and is pursuing her bachelor's degree. Here's how she feels powerful...
I feel most powerful when...
I'm most confident. My confidence really comes from knowing that I've done all that I can to prepare for whatever challenge I'm about to embark on. Whether it’s swimming, school, a relationship, there’s so many ways it’s applicable — but for me, swimming is gonna be the biggest thing. Getting up behind a race, I've never felt more powerful and more in control than when I knew I had done everything I could possibly have done to be prepared for that moment.
Power to me means...
Someone who knows who they are, and isn’t going to apologize for it. Someone who recognizes their strengths and celebrates them, but also recognizes their weaknesses and works to improve them. Having this idea of self-love and self-appreciation wherever you are. Working to be the best version of yourself every day.
What do you do when you feel powerless?
I tell myself that it will pass. The scary thing about moments when you feel powerless is that it feels like they're going to last forever. It's really important for me to remind myself — whatever it is, a single race, or entire phase in my life — that I'm going to get through it, and there's something beautiful on the other end. While I'm here, I might as well learn as much as I can about myself in this process, and trust myself that I'll do my best to get through it, and one day it’ll pass.
What's your power anthem?
"Alive" by Céline Dion. Really, anything by Céline Dion, if I'm being totally honest. She’s just fabulous. Céline is one of those women — it's impossible not to be inspired by her. I think she embodies empowerment. She's so incredible: what she’s capable of doing, and her personality. Any of her songs that I listen to, I'm like, Oh my God.
Who's your power icon?
My mom is seriously the greatest woman I've ever known. She’s maybe not what you’d expect — she’s not a Céline Dion in terms of her fame and how many people know her — but she’s a Céline Dion to me and to everyone that knows her, like my dad and our family. All the sacrifices she's made for us, and just how powerful and incredible she is, I mean, I'm just absolutely amazed by her every single day.
What do you wear when you want to feel powerful?
A swimsuit, truly. Swimming isn’t my entire identity, but it's a huge part of who I am. I'm so proud of that person, and the person that I am when I'm in a pool. It's really one of the major spaces where I feel almost untouchable.
Responses have been edited and condensed for clarity.