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Missy Franklin ends chase for 8 gold medals at world swimming championships

Missy Franklin gave up her chance to win eight gold medals at the world swimming championships. (Adam Pretty/Getty Images) Olympic sensation Missy Franklin gave up her chance to win eight gold medals at the world swimming championships. (Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

Missy Franklin, one of the stars of last summer's London Olympics, ended her chase for eight gold medals at the world swimming championships in Barcelona on Wednesday. The swimmer scratched from the semifinals of the 50-meter backstroke, reports The Associated Press, giving up a chance at history.

Franklin was only 17 when she won four gold medals (and one bronze) last summer in London. She seemed like a normal -- albeit incredibly talented -- kid, with a big smile and goofy dance moves. Her legend grew when she turned down millions of dollars in potential endorsement opportunities to remain an amateur. She continued to compete for her high school team this year and will start college at California in August.

At the world championships, Franklin has already won gold in the 4x100 freestyle relay, 100 back and 200 free. She could still win seven gold medals in total if she sweeps her remaining events.

LONDON 2012: 14 memorable moments from the Summer Games

But passing on the 50-meter backstroke means Franklin won't join Michael Phelps as the only swimmers to take eight golds at a major swimming event. Phelps famously accomplished the feat at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

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