A surprise Olympic send-off for Colorado's Missy Franklin

10:32 PM, May 18, 2012   |    comments
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"I had no idea. I had absolutely no clue," Missy Franklin said as she was called down to the front of the gym.

Her friends in the bleachers unveiled a huge banner that read, "Good Luck Missy."

Moments later, Denver Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker walked into the gym. The girls went wild screaming and cheering.

"I thought all our ears were going to bleed," 17-year-old Missy said.

Decker walked up and hugged Missy.

He said to her, "Wow, it is crazy loud in here."

Missy answered, "One thousand teenage girls, we can get loud."

"Missy is a great girl. I had to be here," Decker told the crowd. "On behalf of the Denver Broncos I came to wish her luck. You better bring back a gold for us, Missy."

Missy smiled and said, "I'll do my best."

Missy holds the world record for the 200 backstroke. She is expected to dominate the Olympic Swimming Trials in June and the Olympic Games in London this summer. She has competed for USA swimming and trained for the Olympics as she has balanced demanding school work, time with friends, and competing on her high school swim team.

This rally was the school's way show its support for a student who is loved; not because she is one of the best athletes in the world. Her classmates and teachers say Missy is as kind, sweet and fun as she is talented.

"Everyone here loves her. She is just real and great to be around," Carla Meli, a junior, said.

Seeing all her friends, teachers and family there really touched Missy.

"I don't think I've ever seen her that emotional," her mom, D.A. Franklin, said.

Missy cried as she talked to the group.

"I'm going to try and keep it together. Honestly, I can't even tell you how much this means to me. You are my life. I love you so much and knowing whatever happens this summer I still get to come home to you is the best feeling in the world," she said.

The surprise event ended with a dance party.

"I hear you like to spontaneously break into dance," Athletic Director John Koslosky said.

It's one of Missy's trademarks and she did not disappoint. She did "the worm" and the kids jumped to their feet. Then Missy pulled Father Steele, the priest, out of his seat and he danced with her.

"I knew he had some moves so we had to show them off," Missy said.

Abby Cutler says Missy's friends feel like they are part of this journey.

"It means so much to be a part of her dream and watching it unfold before our eyes," she said.

Missy feels the support and it means the world.

"That was so much more than I could have ever imagined," she said. "I have the best friends in the world."

Missy will compete in the Olympic Trials in Omaha, Neb. in the last week of June.

(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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