After Colo. shootings, Franklin’s gold brings hope
After days of mourning the mass shooting at an Aurora movie
theater, Coloradans are celebrating hometown native Missy
Franklin’s triumphs at the London Olympic Games.
The 17-year-old swimmer attends Aurora’s Regis Jesuit High
School and lives in the nearby Denver suburb of Centennial.
Following the July 20 shootings, she dedicated her Olympic races to
her home state.
”It’s such a terrible thing, and I’m so shaken by it,”
Franklin said last week. ”They’re in my thoughts this entire
Franklin won a gold medal in the 100-meter backstroke Monday
after having opened her games with a relay bronze.
”For Missy to take time in the midst of her finest moment to
think about her hometown and how she can help in its healing is an
incredible statement about her character,” Aurora Mayor Steve
Hogan said Tuesday.
”It certainly means a lot to Aurora to know that Missy cares,
and we are proud of her achievements.”
Franklin has become a much-needed cause for cheer in a state
that has seen its share of pain this year with the movie theater
massacre and wildfires that destroyed hundreds of homes. Her steady
rise has been chronicled by Colorado news media, and on Tuesday The
Denver Post emblazoned her gold medal triumph on its front page
under the headline, ”Missy’s American grit.”
Friends, coaches and followers embraced that grit – a symbol of
perseverance shared by many after authorities say James Holmes
killed 12 people and injured 58 others at a midnight screening of
the Batman film ”The Dark Knight Rises.”
”I know our entire state just has heartache right now, and for
her to dedicate her work and success to us, it just helps that much
more,” said Madeline Cordier, a recent Regis graduate.
”She helps us push forward and she gives us something to look
forward to,” added Cordier’s sister, Grace, who still attends
Regis Jesuit. ”She’s putting a lot of smiles on a lot of
Noah Utesch, a member of the boys’ swim team at Regis Jesuit,
praised Franklin’s dedication of her races in the London spotlight
as ”something positive for the city of Aurora.”
”It’s got to do something to cover up that terrible tragedy,”
Franklin’s high school swim coach, Nick Frasersmith, was
effusive in his praise of her determination and ebullient outlook
”What Missy’s doing in dedicating her events, really, I think,
just kind of brings something we can all focus on that’s positive
and an enjoyment of some good things that happen in this world,”
”And there’s no better person like Missy Franklin with her