If Missy Franklin ever decides to give up swimming, there’s a good chance she could end up on “Dancing With The Stars”.
The statuesque teenager busted out her dance moves again to what has become her trademark song, “Call Me Maybe” as it was played during her introduction at the Colorado Olympian celebration Saturday afternoon at Centennial’s Center Park.
Franklin dazzled the crowd of nearly one thousand people, holding signs and waving American flags as they cheered for their hometown hero.
“Just being able to be home again is the best feeling in the world, and being able to come out here and having all of your support is what makes it worth it,” Franklin said. “Going out there and getting gold, that’s awesome too, but the support that we get and we see from all of you in Colorado I know I can tell you we all appreciate it more than anything,” she added.
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper congratulated all of Colorado’s Olympians and introduced several other athletes who competed.
The other gold medal winner from Colorado, Taylor Ritzel, won hers in rowing which amused the governor.
“How did that happen when she’s from a landlocked state?” he chuckled.
Ritzel also just happens to be the granddaughter of former Denver Broncos Coach Red Miller.
But it was clear the crowd was there for Missy Franklin, many of them her neighbors.
“It was amazing and hard to believe”, 12-year-old Kennedy Dickie said, “One day she is my neighbor, the next day I watched her swim in the Olympics”
Kennedy’s mom, Sandy, also watched Franklin grow up and said she told people ten years ago that Missy was going to the Olympics. She also said she’s a role model and a real inspiration.
As for the new Olympic rings tattoo Franklin is now sporting Sandy Dickey added, “If my daughter wins an Olympic gold medal then she can get a tattoo like Missy’s.”
Franklin garnered international fame by winning four gold medals and one bronze medal-more than any other female athlete in the 2012 London Olympics. She became an instant celebrity and many are impressed at how she handles the media and pressure at such a young age.
One person attending the celebration understands what Franklin is going through.
Twenty-year-old Richie Law, also from Centennial, made it to the top 40 on American Idol this past season. The country singer’s career is taking off and he recently opened for the group Sawyer Brown, and Jewell and performed with Darius Rucker and Darryl Worley at a charity event. He says when fame is thrust upon you suddenly it can be a little overwhelming.
But he said that he and Franklin have something in common.
“When you’re doing what you love, it’s just who you are, so it’s easy to be yourself, you don’t have to try to be anyone else.”
Obviously something that Franklin and Law have already learned at an early age.