30 Reasons To Watch: #17

Will Missy “The Missile” Franklin become the new star of swimming after the 17-year-old U.S. newcomer won 3 golds at the Worlds? And will her parents’ Canadian citizenship be revoked because she chose the U.S. team over Canada?

(Photo by AP)

By Mike Tierney, Special to Universal Sports

Quickie quiz: Which U.S. swimmer is 6-foot-1 (with a 6-4 wingspan), wears size 13 shoes and can collect seven Olympic medals?

If you guessed Michael Phelps: close, but no cigar. Like Phelps, 17-year-old sensation Missy Franklin will fill her Olympic dance card with four individual events (two freestyle, two backstroke) and three relays.

No matter the size of her medal haul, Franklin will endear herself to Americans who tune into swimming every fourth year. The delightful teen is humble, appreciative of her success. She wants to keep it real, planning to return to her high school team in the fall rather than strike it rich as a professional.

The concern in London is stretching herself too thin with such a full plate. Franklin’s coach, Todd Schmitz, has punched all the right buttons so far. But he, like his prized pupil, is new to the Olympics grind. For them, it will be no quickie quiz, but a demanding test.

We will be counting down our top 30 Reasons To Watch each day until opening ceremonies. Check here for more!

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