Swimming champion Missy Franklin will compete in metro Phoenix next week as part of her preparation to make a second Olympic team.
She made a pre-meet appearance Friday to champion a greater cause, water safety, in her new role as a USA Swimming Foundation ambassador. Franklin, a five-time 2012 London Olympic medalist, did a hands-on swim lesson with a dozen children at the Salvation Army Kroc Center in south Phoenix, the 41st stop nationally since 2007 in the Make a Splash tour promoting the importance of swim lessons in drowning prevention.
“This is such a dream come true and a perfect fit for me,” said Franklin, who spoke later at a USA Swimming Foundation luncheon also attended by U.S. Olympic/Arizona State swim coach Bob Bowman, Rowdy Gaines, Michael Phelps, Allison Schmitt and Chase Kalisz. 22-time Olympic medalist Phelps, who trains at ASU, also promotes water safety through his swim program, offered locally by Pitchfork Aquatics at ASU Poly and West campuses.