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SBD/July 31, 2012/Olympics
Franklin Could Miss Out On Millions From Sponsors By Maintaining Amateur Status
Published July 31, 2012
A MOMENT LIKE THIS: In Newark, Steve Politi writes Franklin is the "new darling of Team USA, the goofy teenager who is ready to steal these Olympics after a breakthrough gold medal last night." Politi: "Get ready, America: The London Games are about to feel a whole lot like a Justin Bieber concert, with energy and giggles and something so often missing from what is supposed to be a three-week celebration of the world’s best amateur athletes. Innocence" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 7/31). In Denver, Mark Kiszla writes, "With a victorious touch of the pool wall, Franklin morphed from a teenager hyped as the future of U.S. swimming to a bona fide Olympic legend. How quickly can a young life change forever?" (DENVER POST, 7/31). NBC News' Matt Lauer said Franklin “came to London poised to become the breakout star of these Games, the female version of Michael Phelps." Lauer: "In the 100-meter backstroke finals, she lived up to the hype” ("Today," NBC, 7/31). ESPN.com's Wayne Drehs wrote if Franklin "is to become the next big thing in swimming" and try to fill Phelps' "impossibly large shoes, Monday was one heck of a first step." But it is also "important to remember she's still just a 17-year-old high school senior-to-be" (ESPN.com, 7/30).
JUST BEING HERSELF: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Jason Gay notes Franklin has resisted going pro, and she is the "exception, not because she wanted to make some kind of grand statement about sports, but because she likes who she is right now." She has "arrived from central casting." The talent is "obvious, the smile billboard-ready, the ego humbly in check." Those tears during the medal ceremony national anthem "were real ones, her astonishment genuine" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 7/31). SPORTING NEWS' David Whitley wrote, "Just when it seemed U.S. swimming had lost its marquee value, along came Missy Franklin." NBC "thanks you for saving its day, Missy." Franklin has "already turned down nice endorsement offers." But if last night is "any indication, she could make enough to buy a college and make her own darned rules" (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 7/30). A WALL STREET JOURNAL editorial states an economist "might question her judgment, but Americans will likely be encouraged that in our texting, tweeting era of instantaneity, there is still a teenager somewhere who believes in deferred gratification" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 7/31).