BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (FILE - MARCH 7, 2016) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)
1. FORMER U.S. OLYMPIC CHAMPION, MISSY FRANKLIN, ALONG WITH OTHERS FROM THE 2016 USA SWIMMING TEAM AT NEWS CONFERENCE
2. FRANKLIN SPEAKING (NOT A SOUNDBITE)
3. MORE OF SWIMMERS AT NEWS CONFERENCE
KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA (FILE - MARCH 26, 2014) (THE LAUREUS SPORTS AWARDS - ACCESS ALL)
4. VARIOUS OF THEN-18-YEAR OLD U.S. SWIMMER, MISSY FRANKLIN, BEING AWARDED THE SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR AWARD BY FORMER OLYMPIC SWIMMING CHAMPION MARK SPITZ
LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (FILE - JULY 30, 2012) (REUTERS STILLS - ACCESS ALL) (MUTE)
5. STILL OF FRANKLIN POSING WITH ONE OF HER GOLD MEDALS AT THE 2012 LONDON OLYMPICS
6. STILL OF FRANKLIN SMILING AFTER WINNING GOLD IN THE WOMEN'S 100M BACKSTROKE AT THE LONDON 2012 OLYMPICS
LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (FILE - AUGUST 3, 2012) (REUTERS STILLS - ACCESS ALL) (MUTE)
7. STILL OF U.S. SWIMMER, ELIZABETH BEISEL (BRONZE), CONGRATULATING FRANKLIN FOR WINNING GOLD AFTER COMPETING IN THE WOMEN'S 200M BACKSTROKE FINAL AT THE LONDON 2012 OLYMPICS - FRANKLIN SET A NEW WORLD RECORD IN THE HEAT
LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (FILE - AUGUST 4, 2012) (REUTERS STILLS - ACCESS ALL) (MUTE)
8. STILL, FROM LEFT TO RIGHT - ALLISON SCHMITT, DANA VOLLMER, REBECCA SONI AND FRANKLIN POSE WITH THE U.S. FLAG AND THEIR GOLD MEDALS AFTER WINNING THE WOMEN'S 4X100 MEDLEY RELAY AT THE LONDON 2012 OLYMPICS
BARCELONA, SPAIN (FILE - JULY 30, 2013) (REUTERS STILLS - ACCESS ALL) (MUTE)
9. STILL OF FRANKLIN BEING CONGRATULATED BY AUSTRALIA'S EMILY SEEBOHM AFTER WINNING THE WOMEN'S 100M BACKSTROKE FINAL AT THE WORLD SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS
BARCELONA, SPAIN (FILE - AUGUST 2, 2013) (REUTERS STILLS - ACCESS ALL) (MUTE)
10. STILL OF FRANKLIN STARTING A 200M BACKSTROKE SEMI FINAL AT THE WORLD SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS
KAZAN, RUSSIA (FILE - AUGUST 8, 2015) (REUTERS STILLS - ACCESS ALL) (MUTE)
11. STILL OF FRANKLIN WITH THE REST OF THE U.S. MIXED 4X100 FREESTYLE RELAY TEAM; FROM LEFT TO RIGHT - RYAN LOCHTE, FRANKLIN, SIMONE MANUEL, AND NATHAN ADRIAN, AFTER WINNING GOLD AT THE AQUATICS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL (FILE - AUGUST 4, 2016) (REUTERS STILLS - ACCESS ALL) (MUTE)
12. STILL OF FRANKLIN TRAINING IN THE POOL
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL (FILE - AUGUST 8, 2016) (REUTERS STILLS - ACCESS ALL) (MUTE)
13. STILL OF FRANKLIN STANDING READY BY THE POOL BEFORE THE START OF A WOMEN'S 200M FREESTYLE SEMI FINAL AT THE 2016 OLYMPICS IN RIO
14. STILL OF FRANKLIN COMPETING IN A WOMEN'S 200M FREESTYLE SEMI FINAL AT THE 2016 OLYMPICS IN RIO
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL (FILE - AUGUST 11, 2016) (REUTERS STILLS - ACCESS ALL) (MUTE)
15. STILL OF FRANKLIN OFF THE WALL IN A WOMEN'S 200M BACKSTROKE HEAT AT THE 2016 OLYMPICS IN RIO
STORY: A "star in the making" were the prophetic words of an announcer who had just witnessed 16-year-old Missy Franklin slice up the competition at swimming's 2011 world championships.
Franklin, who would just as soon use her 6-foot-four-inch (1.93-metre) wingspan to hug a competitor as she would to demolish them in the pool, harnessed an upbeat outlook that propelled her to the greatest heights of her sport and helped her weather the crushing lows.
Rocketing to acclaim at 17, Franklin took home five medals from the 2012 London Olympics, including four golds, and set a world record in the 200 metres backstroke, becoming a household name in the United States despite turning down lucrative endorsements to pursue a college career.
She became a source of hope and inspiration for the Aurora, Colorado community during her 2012 Olympic run, as the town where she grew up reeled from a deadly mass shooting inside a cinema, telling reporters she wanted to make Colorado proud.
"For Missy to take time in the midst of her finest moment to think about her hometown and how she can help in its healing is an incredible statement about her character," Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan said at the time.
She claimed six golds at the 2013 World Championships, the most ever by a female swimmer at one edition.
Yet a relatively disappointing showing at the 2016 Rio Olympics, where she took home a solitary relay gold, cut the fairytale short as she discovered she had fallen out of love for the sport.
Franklin failed to qualify for the final in the 200m backstroke in Rio, the event in which she had set a world record four years previously, after qualifying for only three events at trials.
"I felt like David facing Goliath but I didn't have any stones in my pocket," she told reporters in Rio.
Yet while the loss of form may have surprised some, Franklin said in her 2016 book "Relentless Spirit" that she knew at the U.S. Olympic Trials, long before she arrived in Rio, that it was not her year.
"I hated that the sport I'd loved so much, had given me so much, was making me feel the way I was feeling during trials," she wrote. "So unsure of myself. So off my game."
Franklin wrote that she resolved to stand as a different kind of role model in defeat.
"It's one thing to inspire all these little girls by winning a bunch of medals. That's easy," wrote Franklin. "But it's another thing entirely to be an inspiration when things aren't exactly going your way."
She missed the world championships in 2017 to recover from surgery and retired in 2018, after years of pain caused by shoulder injuries.
(Production: Kurt Michael Hall)