Missy Franklin came to London ready to compete in seven events. She will arrive home for her senior year in high school with five medals, including four gold, and two world records.
"It's so amazing. Absolutely incredible. Like living in a dream world," Franklin said.
Franklin is an only child, born when her mother was 46. Now that the swimming is over, the 17-year-old is required to have a chaperone.
"I got these guys to come with me everywhere. Just because I'm under 18, have to make sure I'm under control," Franklin said.
She'll move out of the Athlete's Village, but is staying for the closing ceremony. Back home in Colorado, her books for senior year have already arrived.
"I'm probably very naive. All I can think of right now is that we leave to go home on the 13th and she registers for school on the 14th," said DA Franklin, Missy's mother.
Franklin will swim on her high school swim team, while fielding calls from college recruiters and passing on endorsements to maintain her eligibility. More valuable, the Franklins say, the people back home who hosted viewing parties help Missy keep it real.
"It's really neat with her friends, they don't treat her any differently than anyone else," her mother said. "She's got the greatest friends. They are so supportive."
"I think it will be exactly the same and if a few people know who I am now, I think, I get to go back to the same school I've been going to for three years and I couldn't be more excited," Missy said.
"People keep saying your lives are really going to change. We are going to try as much as possible to have her junior year...her senior year...be a real special senior year for her," DA Franklin said.
She leaves with $285,000 new followers on Twitter, a growing audience for a young role model who delivers.
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