Franklin stated that the primary reason for retiring was the recurring shoulder pain that plagued her throughout 2016 and was not relieved by surgery on both shoulders in 2017.
“It took me a long time to say the words, ‘I am retiring,'” Franklin wrote. “A long, long time. But now I’m ready. I’m ready to not be in pain every day. I’m ready to become a wife, one day a mother. I’m ready to continue growing each and every day to be the best person and role model I can be. I’m ready for the rest of my life.”
Franklin won four gold medals in London in 2012 in the 100-200 m Backstrokes and two relays, and six golds at the 2013 World Championships. But the shoulder pains reduced her performance at the 2016 Olympic Trials to the point where she qualified only for relay duty in Rio, where the won another gold as a prelim-round swimmer on the U.S. 4×200 m squad.
By December of 2017, she had changed coaches but “it was also the same time that my shoulder pain became the worst I had ever experienced. I was still in physical therapy multiple times a week and my coaches were doing everything to help me just get through each practice. Every moment I wasn’t training was spent recovering with ice and rest, as I tried to heal and prepare myself for the next practice – but nothing was working.”