U.S. Olympic swimmer Missy Franklin will be competing at the London Games to bring pride to her home state of Colorado after 12 people were shot to death last week in the town where she trains and attends high school.
The shootings at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, on July 20 also left 58 people wounded. James Holmes, a 24-year-old graduate student being held in the case, allegedly carried out the attack with a semi-automatic rifle, a shotgun and a handgun.
“All I have to do is, do what I can here and swim my heart out and hopefully make my state proud,” Franklin, a 17-year-old student at Regis Jesuit High School, said at a news conference today at Olympic Park. “Give a little bit of fun for this really tough summer that Colorado has had.”
Franklin said she learned of the shootings on Twitter while training in France.
“It’s absolutely horrible, it was just so senseless and you have to wonder why these things happen in the world,” said Franklin, who lives in Centennial, Colorado. Centennial and Aurora are suburbs of Denver.
Franklin will be competing in seven events at the Olympics, the most a U.S. female swimmer has ever tried. She won five medals, including three golds, at last year’s world championships in Shanghai and set a national record in the 100- meter backstroke of 58.85 seconds at last month’s U.S. swimming trials.
The London Games’ opening ceremony is tomorrow. Franklin is participating in seven events in what will be her first Olympics.
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