There are few athletes who work as hard at the Summer Olympics than swimmers. There are 17 total swimming events at the 2016 Rio Olympics, and because the events are separated by gender, that means that there are a total of 34 opportunities for swimmers to win medals at this year's Olympics. As if the sheer number of events wasn't enough, many swimmers participate in multiple events, leaving them with an especially busy games. For example, in her appearance at the 2012 London games, Team USA swimmer Missy Franklin competed in seven total events and managed to bring home five medals, including one bronze and four gold. She'll be returning to the swimming pool while in Rio, but when will Missy Franklin's Olympics events be?
Fans will have a few opportunities to see Franklin compete in the 2016 Olympics, but she won't be as large a presence as she's been in the past — which makes sense, considering that in 2012, Franklin won gold in the Women's 100m and 200m Backstroke, Womenʼs 4x200m Freestyle Relay, and the Womenʼs 4x100m Medley Relay. While she's only returning to two of her gold medal categories in 2016, she is hoping to add a new gold medal to her collection in a different category. Here's when to catch Franklin's swimming events at the Rio Olympics.
Women's 200m Freestyle
It may come as a surprise to many that Franklin isn't returning to some of her previous gold medal events, including the Women's 100m Backstroke. While she may not have qualified for the 100m backstroke, being a swimmer allows her the versatility to pivot to another event to participate in at Rio. Franklin's acceptance into Women's 200m Freestyle opens up a new opportunity for her, as this event will be an Olympic first for the 21-year-old swimmer.
The event itself will be held on Monday, Aug. 8, with preliminaries at 12:00 p.m. PT and semi-finals at 9:00 p.m. PT. Finals for the event are the following day, Tuesday, Aug. 9, at 9:00 p.m. ET.
Women's 200m Backstroke
Franklin's largest triumph in the 2012 Olympics was undeniably breaking the world record for the woman's 200m Backstroke. With a time of 2:04.06, she made history at the age of 17 and set the bar for all future backstroke competitors. Four years later, Franklin is returning to the event to defend her world record and possibly go back home with another gold medal in the very same event.
The Women's 200m Backstroke is scheduled to have Heats on Thursday, Aug. 11 at 12:00 p.m. ET, and semi-finals that evening at 9:00 p.m ET. Finals for the event occur the following day, Friday, Aug. 12 at 9:00 p.m. ET.
Women's 4x200m Freestyle Relay
Franklin is competing at the Olympics on the behalf of Team USA, and no other event showcases her ability to work in a team like the 4x200m Freestyle Relay. Competing alongside swimmers Katie Ledecky, Leah Smith, and Melanie Margalis, there's a chance that Franklin could recapture some of the same magic that helped her and Team USA break the world record time for 4x100 Freestyle. The 2016 Women's 4x200 Freestyle Relay begins the day after the conclusion of the Women's 200m freestyle, with Heats occurring at 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday Aug. 10, and finals at 9:00 p.m. that same day.
Franklin has three chances to re-claim Olympic gold this year, which is more than many swimmers get at a first shot in their entire lifetime. Although she faces some hardships this Olympic cycle, she won't let it get to her. She recently told NBC that she has realized that "no one has the perfect career, no one makes every team in every event that they want to." Yet no matter what happens in Rio, there's no denying the career Franklin has is already pretty amazing.