PHOENIX, Arizona, September 13. FOOTBALL fan Missy Franklin, hot off her stint as honorary captain for the Denver Broncos, will serve as Grand Marshal for the Fort McDowell Fiesta Bowl Parade on December 29.
The parade, which will be held in central Phoenix, comes five days before the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, which will pit two of the best college football teams against each other on January 3 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.
Franklin will be the eighth Olympian to serve as Grand Marshal of the parade, and the fourth swimmer. Janet Evans took the job in 1988 after winning three gold medals at the Seoul Olympics. Hometown heroes Gary Hall Jr. and Misty Hyman were co-Grand Marshals in 2000 after their gold medal performances in the Sydney Olympics.
Other Olympians to serve as Grand Marshal include Frank Shorter in 1976, Kristi Yamaguchi in 1992, Charles Barkley in 1994, Kerri Strug in 1996 and Jennie Finch in 2004.
“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.”
At the Fiesta Bowl football game, Franklin will be seen in several pre-game festivities, as well as the coin toss.