PHOENIX, Arizona, December 30. MISSY Franklin's megawatt smile was the centerpiece of yesterday's Fort McDowell Fiesta Bowl Parade. The Olympian, named Grand Marshall of the parade through central Phoenix, sat atop a convertible, waving to the crowd, while one of her four London Olympic gold medals dangled from her neck. The parade is held every year prior to the Tostitos Fiesta College Football Bowl game on January 3.
Friday evening, Franklin attended a dinner reception to recognize some of the participants in this year's parade. Members of the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, who are the title sponsors of the parade, honored Franklin by presenting her with a traditional Yavapai blanket embroidered with her name.
Franklin wore the blanket on her lap during the parade Saturday morning. She sat atop a convertible for the 2.5 mile parade route, waving to crowds of spectators that turned up to the see the Olympian in the flesh.
Franklin's mother, D.A. Franklin, remarked the following about her daughter's parade experience via e-mail:
"The parade was amazing and she actually loved it. She didn't stop laughing or smiling the entire time!! The reception was heartwarming with chants of "USA"!!!"
Following are a few pictures taken of Franklin during the parade. Photo Credit to Slingshot Photography.
Missy Franklin waves to the crowd as Grand Marshall of the Fort McDowell Fiesta Bowl Parade.
Missy Franklin sitting atop her parade car, waving to the crowd during the Fort McDowell Fiesta Bowl Parade.
Franklin will return to Arizona of January 1, to train for several days at a club team in Scottsdale, prior to the Tostitos Fiesta bowl on January 3 in Glendale, Arizona. Franklin also graced the cover of the 2012-13 Fiesta Bowl Entertainment Guide.