"Does anyone here have morning practice?" Missy Franklin asked looking out over a sea of raised hands.
The gym floor at the Greenwood Athletic Club was filled with children, including some of the Greenwood Tigers swimmers.
"Sometimes it is hard to get out of bed," Franklin said. "But you just remember hard work is always worth it."
The five time Olympic medalist returned to the place where she and her mom and dad have spent so much time together. They would often swim together as she grew up.
Missy brought with her the smile that has captivated so many, and the encouragement she says is so important to pass on.
Missy also brought her medals.
"Are they heavier than you thought they'd be?" A young boy in the crowd asked.
"I was so surprised how heavy they were!" Missy smile.
Franklin's dad is usually the guy in charge of the backpack full of medals at events. Four gold medals and a bronze aren't light. Franklin estimates the pack weighs about 30 pounds.
There was another gold medal in the room. It was hanging around Chris Marlow's neck. He was the captain of the 1984 Men's Volleyball team. They won gold when they beat Brazil.
"I was wondering why my medal is so much smaller," Marlow laughed.
"They told me this year's are the biggest medals ever made," Franklin said.
Marlow asked Missy about her busy life since coming home to Colorado.
"I've gotten to do so many fun things," Franklin said. "Hopefully I'll get to meet Justin Bieber this February."
Biever, who will be performing a concert in Denver, sent Franklin a care package and has said she is invited backstage.
The questions on the stage at Greenwood Athletic Club kept coming. They wanted to know how Franklin celebrated after she finished her last race in London.
"I treated myself to the biggest M & M McFlurry I could find. I had been eyeing that thing the entire time I was there," Frankly laughed. "It was awesome!"
Franklin explained that she has been traveling a lot since she's been back from London. She has had to balance those opportunities with her school commitments.
Franklin is a Senior at Regis Jesuit High School and carries a demanding load of AP honors classes. It is why she did not make the trip to the White House.
"I had too much homework and a test," Franklin said. "I needed to be at school that day."
The weeks ahead are busy too. There are more appearances and events. There is school every day. And Missy is back to intense training after taking time off after the Games.
"I am in the pool two hours every day," Franklin said.
One person in the crowd asked Franklin if she was going to swim in the 2016 Summer Olympics.
"Absolutely," Franklin said. "It felt so good to be back in the water. I would love to be back in Rio."
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