Golden Girl Missy Franklin Is the Sweetheart of These Olympics

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Franklin Earns First Gold Medal in 100m Backstroke

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Call her The Natural. In her first Olympic Games, Missy Franklin, a giggly 17-year-old high schooler from Colorado, has already shown an uncanny ability to flip the switch when the lights come on and transition into steely veteran with a killer instinct. Only minutes after completing a semifinal heat in the 200m freestyle, Franklin hopped back in the pool and swam to gold in the 100m backstroke, perhaps her signature event.

"Indescribable," she said. "I still can't believe that happened. I don't even know what to think. I saw my parents' reaction on the screen and I just started bawling. I can't even think right now."

She had better get used to the feeling. Franklin has five more events and the potential to emerge from these Games as America's breakout star.

Franklin's male counterpart, Matt Grevers, was also up to the challenge in the 100m backstroke, setting an Olympic record to earn the gold medal.

The American exploits in the pool overshadowed a disappointing performance from the American male gymnasts, who slipped to fifth after entering the All Around finals as medal favorites. Princes William and Harry were on hand to watch the Great Britain men earn Bronze, after a successful Japanese inquiry vaulted the Japanese men from fourth to second and knocked the Ukrainians off the medal stand.

Samuel L. Jackson Tweet of the Night
One of the delightful discoveries of these Olympic Games has been the Twitter feed of actor Samuel L. Jackson, who offers real-time insights during the NBC prime-time broadcasts. They're exactly what you would expect from the guy who played Jules in Pulp Fiction: profanity-laced observations that are steeped in pro-America jingoism. Well worth a follow @SamuelLJackson if want to watch right along with him (and if you're not easily offended by liberal use of expletives).

Last night, Jackson signed off with this shout-out to Michael Phelps (slightly censored for family reading): "Just so ya know,looking forward to MIKE P going knee deep in ALL THAT A-- in the 200 FLY!!!! Go USA!

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