Missy Franklin has called it a career with mounting injuries on her end. Pictured: Laureus Ambassador Missy Franklin poses prior to the 2018 Laureus World Sports Awards at Le Meridien Beach Plaza Hotel on February 26, 2018 in Monaco, Monaco. Getty Images/Simon Hofmann

At 23, Melissa Jeanette "Missy" Franklin could have competed in more world-class competitions had she wanted to. But like most athletes, injuries play an important role in determining their performance and how far they can go. In the case of Missy, her retirement comes at a shocking time.

A five-time Olympic gold medallist and two-time FINA World Swimmer of the Year, Franklin announced her retirement from swimming via ESPN. The reason behind the abrupt retirement was due to chronic shoulder pain, something she has battled with since 2016.

Franklin admitted that it was not an easy decision to make. Instead, it looks like the native of Pasadena, California will be moving on to a new chapter which is to become a wife and possibly raise a family.

"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 said in the lengthy letter via ESPN.

Franklin created a storm when she competed at the age of 17 at the 2012 Olympics. She became the first American to win four golds in a single Olympics in any sport, ESPN noted. The year after, she followed up that performance when she copped six gold medals at the 2013 World Aquatics Championships in Barcelona.

Being one of the dominant female swimmers at the time, it came to no surprise that many had compared her to Michael Phelps. Unfortunately, everything went downhill after 2013.

Franklin decided to turn professional, attending the University of California-Berkeley and competing for the Golden Bears. She was part of the team that won the 2015 NCAA championship, although she suffered her first big obstacle in the form of a nagging back injury.

But the real reason behind her early retirement was the intense shoulder pain which she suffered ahead of the Rio Olympics. Franklin underwent surgery for both shoulders in 2017 and then attempted to make a comeback this year.

Unfortunately, she was diagnosed with severe chronic tendonitis of the rotator cuff and biceps tendons. Faced with yet another surgery that held no promise of relief, Franklin consulted people close to her, including her fiancé. And apparently, it was these words by her better half that eventually made her decide.

"I will support you fully, no matter what you choose. But what matters to me the most, more than anything, is that you can hold our children in your arms one day without being in excruciating pain," fellow swimmer and fiancé Hayes Johnson said.