Colo. swimmer's gold gives state reason to cheer

Associated Press  |  Last updated August 01, 2012
Colorado has seen its share of pain this year with a mass movie theater shooting and deadly wildfires that destroyed hundreds of homes. But when Missy Franklin cinched her first gold medal at the London Olympic Games this week, it was finally time to cheer. After days of mourning the mass shooting, Coloradans are celebrating the triumphs of the 17-year-old swimmer who attends Aurora's Regis Jesuit High School and lives in the nearby Denver suburb of Centennial. Following the July 20 shootings in Aurora, 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 process.'' 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 celebration in a state that was still reeling from destructive wildfires when the movie theater massacre occurred. This summer's High Park Fire in northern Colorado burned about 260 homes, while the Waldo Canyon Fire near Colorado Springs destroyed more than 340 homes and killed a husband and wife. Franklin's 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 Coloradans' faces.'' 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,'' Utesch said. Franklin's high school swim coach, Nick Frasersmith, was effusive in his praise of her determination and ebullient outlook on life. ''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,'' Frasersmith said. ''And there's no better person like Missy Franklin with her wonderful attitude.''
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
The Worst - NFL Week 3: Steve Smith, Odell Beckham & of course the Browns
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Sixers rookie Ben Simmons has fracture in foot

Olympic wrestler turned ISIS recruit killed in U.S. drone strike

Report: Jamaal Charles to play Sunday against Steelers

Dez Bryant says he will not play Sunday against 49ers

Bill O’Brien officially rules J.J. Watt out for season

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Eric Decker out Sunday with partial tear in rotator cuff

Report: Browns planning to part ways with Josh Gordon

Noah skips dinner at West Point because he's anti-war

Giants could use wide receiver at safety against Vikings

Ryan Tannehill does not mince words regarding offense

Russell Wilson on playing Sunday against Jets: ‘No doubt’

WATCH: Is it time for the Jaguars to fire Gus Bradley?

Combing through the crowded 2016 MLB MVP races

The Blue Jays and the meaning of a late season freefall

CFB Crash Course: Week 5 - Less one Les

Box Score: 9/30 - Dolphins, Popovich and MLB umps

Seven most absurd stats heading into NFL Week 4

Antonio Brown to honor Arnold Palmer with custom cleats

The best and worst from the 2016 World Cup of Hockey

Players Jurgen Klinsmann may call up for USMNT friendlies

Byron Scott has no relationship with D’Angelo Russell

Steve Kerr favors shorter NBA preseason to limit back-to-backs

Flaws of MLB replay system exposed in Cardinals’ victory

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: Is it time for the Jaguars to fire Gus Bradley?

Combing through the crowded 2016 MLB MVP races

The Blue Jays and the meaning of a late season freefall

CFB Crash Course: Week 5 - Less one Les

NBA winners and losers: Gregg Popovich as a voice of reason

WATCH: Will LSU have to sell its soul to find its next head coach?

The clubhouse leaders for MLB Rookies of the Year

Goodbye, Ted: 20 years of highs and lows at Turner Field

Forza Horizon 3 review: Going Top Gear

NFL Kickoff Week 4: Guess what? The NFL is dying again

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker