An Olympic gold medalist in swimming, Missy Franklin has to decide if she will join her high school swimming team, but she said she is sticking to her decision of going to college in 2013 even though she realizes all the opportunities available for swimmers who decide to skip that step and turn professional.
Franklin already decided that she will swim in college in California and compete for two years before turning pro after the 2016 Olympics, held in Rio de Janeiro.
"For right now, I still believe that college is what's going to make me the happiest girl," Franklin said at a news conference.
At the end of the London Games, she said her experience competing in the Olympics this summer made her decision to go to college instead of turning pro that much more difficult.
"I think it's made my decision a lot more difficult because I've been able to see the benefits and everything and how people get these sponsorships and what it's like for them," she said. "And how much fun they're having and seeing those and kind of wanting that, wanting to be a part of it and having it be so hard to turn it down. [But] It's also helped me in being part of such an incredible team and knowing that this is what it's all about for me."
"And being a part of that team and being on the closest team I've ever been on and knowing that's exactly what college is going to be like," she added.
Franklin is a senior at Regis Jesuit High in Aurora, Colo. The next tough decision she is facing is whether or not she will join her school's swimming team. The 17-year-old said she is hearing from some that it might give her an unfair advantage in the water, which has hindered her final decision.
"it's so hard when I have so many people that are really wanting me to do it and so supportive, and I have other people who are saying it's not fair. 'Why would you do this to other girls?' And I feel so bad thinking that they would think that," Franklin said Monday. "It's hard, because I feel like no matter what I do, it's going to be opposed in some way or form."
The swimming season has already started so out of fairness to her coach and teammates, Franklin wants to make the big decision quickly, though she stated "there's so many different opinions that I have no idea."