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    March 1, 2018 8:52 AM +0330

    RIO DE JANEIRO -- Dance parties. Desmond Trufant Jersey . Dark chocolate. Calls to mom.All are helping Missy Franklin cope with an Olympics gone wrong.A huge star at the London Games four years ago, Franklin has been one of the biggest U.S. disappointments in Rio de Janeiro -- an inexplicable fall shes at a loss to explain.I really wish I could tell you, Franklin said Thursday after another lackluster swim. In my mind, I made the hardest sacrifices Ive ever had to make this year. Ive poured myself into this every single day for the whole year and the three years leading up to that. For whatever reason, its just not happening at this meet.As a high school senior-to-be in 2012, Franklin competed in a staggering seven events, winning four gold medals and a bronze. She became only the second American woman, after Amy Van Dyken, to capture four golds at a single Olympics.But following two years swimming collegiately at California and then turning pro last summer, Franklin hasnt been able to recapture the form that made her one of the most-hyped -- and heavily sponsored -- U.S. athletes heading into the Rio Olympics.She struggled at the U.S. trials, qualifying for the team in only two individual events, both with runner-up finishes.In Rio, she failed to even qualify for the final of the 200-meter freestyle. After that showing, the coaches only picked her to swim the preliminary of the 4x200 free relay, a decision that would have seemed unfathomable just a few months ago but didnt meet with any protest from Franklin.I was absolutely fine with it, Franklin said. They 100 percent made the right decision.The 21-year-old still earned a gold medal -- the fifth of her career -- when a Katie Ledecky-led squad swam to victory in the relay final Wednesday night.That did little to ease the sting for Franklin. Shes ready to go home to Colorado.Being totally honest, Im doing better because its almost over, she said. The closer we get, its just good reminders that this is a disappointing swim meet for me. Its a disappointing race, its a disappointing swim meet. Life goes on. This is just one phase of my life that I worked so hard for and made so many sacrifices for and for whatever reason it didnt go my way. It doesnt mean Im anywhere close to being done with the sport, that I dont feel like I have anything left, because I do.Franklin has coped with her struggles by leaning heavily on her religious faith.My faith in God is really getting me through, she said. I know that hes going to make something beautiful out of this, hes going to transform me and my life into doing something from all of this. I have no clue what that is. I wish I could ask him what hes going to do.Her teammates are doing all they can to help.I just throw a couple of random dance parties. I take some really, really horrendous Snapchats of her, Cierra Runge said. Whatever I can do to make her laugh.Those Dove chocolate candies with the inspirational message on the wrapper help, too.One of the verses really stuck with Franklin.Every day is an opportunity to change things for the better, she recounted. That was a good reminder that regardless of how things have been going, how Ive been feeling, every day is a new opportunity.And, of course, she can always turn to her family.Youre never too old to call your mom and cry and ask her for advice, Franklin said. She just told me that its going to be OK, and thats all I needed to hear. Yeah, its hard right now. Its probably the hardest thing Ive had to go through. But its going to be OK. Im loved. Im supported. When you put things in perspective, if a disappointing meet is the worst thing that happens in my life, then I have a pretty damn good life.Franklin was competing Thursday in her final event of the Games, the 200 backstroke, an event she won at London. She gave little indication of turning things around in the preliminaries, managing only the 11th-best time at 2 minutes, 9.36 seconds. And it didnt get any better in the semifinals, where she finished 14th in 2:09.74.?Franklin will return to Cal in the fall to resume her studies, but she made clear that her swimming career isnt over.If theres a bright side, Franklin has learned just how much shes really loved.Yeah, its a disappointment. But the support Ive received has shown me so much more than I ever couldve expected, she said. Youre so much more than the number of medals you have, youre so much more than the time you spend in the pool, your value goes so beyond all of that. I dont think I ever wouldve come to that realization without going through something like this.Information from The Associated Press and ESPN.coms Bonnie D. Ford was used in this report. Wholesale Atlanta Falcons Jerseys . The 18-year-old American had five birdies in her bogey-free round for a 17-under total of 196. Lee held the overnight lead but mixed three birdies with two bogeys for a 70. Dontari Poe Jersey . According to a report from the Vancouver Province, the Lions are expected to replace former DC Rich Stubler with defensive backs coach Mark Washington. . -- In a span of seven Washington Redskins offensive plays, Justin Tuck sacked Robert Griffin III four times. In 1998, the prime of my career, I was sidelined for roughly three months dealing with what was diagnosed as post-concussion syndrome. Its a part of my life I do not enjoy talking about because there wasnt much joy in the months before, or after, stepping out of the car.Because of my experiences, Im often asked to reflect on it when a similar injury arises in our sport.Such was the case most of Friday after the announcement that?Dale Earnhardt Jr.?would miss this weekends race at New Hampshire Speedway because of concussion-like symptoms.Im very sensitive to reacting to a driver in this position because I understand the toll this circumstance puts on someone. Its very difficult for a driver to acknowledge publicly that he is compromised, not feeling 100 percent.And its equally uncomfortable to surrender control of your future, not to mention surrendering your race car to another competitor.Knowing this, I will not venture down the path of what Dale should, or shouldnt, do -- or why, when or where he should or should not return to competition.Every scenario is different and I can only speak to mine, but every driver must be front and center on how they manage this type of injury.What I will share are a few things I learned from my experience that might help Dale in his recovery.(1) You must be your own advocate.Regardless of who you employ to help or guide you through this experience, the urge and temptation to compete will dominate you as your health improves.Its when you feel ready to return that you must pause, self-evaluate and weigh the risks against the potential reward.Be honest with those you are closest to, those among the team that are treating you, but most importantly: Do not cheat yourself.It took me a long time to recover from the residual effects of my three concurrent concussions in 1997. There were good days and bad days, but eventually the duration of good days became commonplace again. But it took a long, long time.My urgency to return ASAP in 1997 compounded my symptoms well past that season and into the next.The insecurity of watching someone compete in my car, with my team, consumed me to the point of making poor decisions. I survived that equation professionally because I was in my early 30s. I most definitely wouldnt have a decade later.Drivers are on a slippery slope when their age starts beginning with a 4. Dale Earnhardt Jr. is 41. At that point, drivers must choose their battles wisely, so to speak, because a poor decision could accelerate those final innings.(2) Time is your greatest cure.I participated in a plethora of tests and evaluations to the point of feeling vulnerable about ever reaching the perceived target of 100 percent.Head injuries are frustrating. You have no cast, youre administered no antibiotic. You are essentially asking your body to reppair itself. Ty Sambrailo Jersey. But you wonder, is my body capable?The scary thing for me, one that I seldom share, is this: I was preoccupied with having lost a percentage of my skills from this injury-riddled period. I feared I would never be 100 percent again, and that fear created an avalanche of emotion, most of which I chose not to expose -- at least not intentionally.My doctor at the University of North Carolina explained to me that I shouldnt be dominated by the test results -- the percentages of left ear function to the right and the like -- because there was no baseline from where I started. None existed.So your 100 percent could be different from your teammates.From that, I understood I must be clear in what I believe qualified as, feeling better. I had to chart the course and discover eventually where the finish line was in the process. Most important: You are the only one who knows. You literally own this.While the doctor can look in your eyes, read your scans, evaluate the tests, you are the only person qualified to make the decision, Im ready to return.Fortunately NASCAR does have a comprehensive baseline test for drivers today, but its only one measure and should never qualify as the exclusive pass or fail criterion.(3) Your history with concussions matters most.This might be the most important part of the discussion.Your age and your history of concussions should matter most in determining your path forward.I learned through this process that the injuries to the brain are difficult to diagnose and heal.Head injuries can be complex! What seemed more certain were the enhanced risks associated with multiple concussions, particularly when they occur in a narrow time frame.The compounding effects of repeated concussions can, and more than likely did in my case, thwart the ability to recover quickly.What cannot get lost in all this is the trust you must have in your body.If you are having concussion-like symptoms and they are consistent with the experiences of an earlier diagnosis, you must comply with your body and ask for time to rest, time to recover, time to repair.I reached out to Dale immediately upon learning his decision. I applauded him. I admire his courage and always have.The hand he has been dealt this week requires more than courage; it requires enormous patience.It will require deep consideration not only of what professional goals remain ahead but perhaps more importantly his personal goals. He also must consider the views of those he is closest to.At Dale Earnhardt Jr.s age, there will be concern about how many years might he have left behind the wheel. In reality, the focus must be on how many quality years he will have left in life. Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys ChinaNFL Cheap Jerseys ' ' '