U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist Missy Franklin Named Grand Marshal of 42nd Annual Fort McDowell Fiesta Bowl Parade

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Ashley Braun

Scottsdale, Arizona – U.S. Olympic gold medalist swimmer Missy Franklin will serve as the Grand Marshal of the 42nd Annual Fort McDowell Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, at 11:00 a.m. MST on December 29, 2012 in central Phoenix.

As Grand Marshal, Franklin will lead this year’s Fort McDowell Fiesta Bowl Parade and will serve as special guest at the 42nd Annual Tostitos Fiesta Bowl on Thursday, January 3, 2013, where she will participate in the pre-game festivities and the coin toss. 

Franklin burst onto the world athletic scene at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, winning five medals, including four gold medals. She also set the world record in the 200 meter backstroke on her way to the gold medal in that event.

“We are thrilled to have Missy Franklin serve as this year’s Fort McDowell Fiesta Bowl Parade Grand Marshal,” said Fiesta Bowl Chairman of the Board Steve Whiteman. “Missy’s dedication to her sport and her performance in the classroom make her an inspiration to all young student-athletes around the world. She is an ideal person to lead our Parade.”

"I have always loved college football, and I am looking forward to participating in this great community event, along with my family,” Franklin said. “It is an honor to join a list of U.S. Olympians who have been a part of the Fiesta Bowl Parade."

The 17-year-old Franklin is the latest in a long line of Olympians who have served as Grand Marshal of the Fiesta Bowl Parade. The list and their parade year:

Jennie Finch (2004)
Gary Hall Jr. & Misty Hyman (2000)
Kerri Strug (1996)
Charles Barkley (1994)                                      
Kristi Yamaguchi (1992)
Janet Evans (1988)
Frank Shorter (1976)

Franklin, nicknamed “Missy the Missile” by her father, resides in Aurora, Colorado with her parents. She is a senior at Regis Jesuit High School.

The Parade, a Valley staple during the holiday season, annually celebrates the unique cultural heritage and beautiful desert landscapes of Arizona. The Parade is free to the public, but reserved seating is available for $25 through the Fiesta Bowl Ticket Office at 480-350-0911 or by visiting www.fiestabowl.org.

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