Missy Franklin’s life has been characterised by achieving at a young age. At the age of just 17 she walked away from the London Olympic Games with a sensational four gold medals. By the time she retired, aged just 23 she had won an incredible 27 medals under the US flag in major competitions.
And now, as she approaches her 24th birthday she has just notched another achievement, becoming the youngest ever Laureus Academy Member.
The Laureus Academy is made up of 68 former sportsmen and women who have reached the top in their sport and now dedicate a significant portion of their time to supporting Laureus Sport for Good programmes all over the world. Franklin is happy to have joined the team.
Franklin was appointed as an Academy Member ahead of the 2019 Laureus World Sports Awards, which are being held in Monaco on Monday [19 February 2019].
“I am just overjoyed at becoming a Laureus Academy Member this year. When I got a call from [Laureus World Sport Academy Chairman] Sean Fitzpatrick, I literally started jumping up and down. I have looked up to all the Academy Members my whole life. To have the opportunity, to have it so young and to know it will be such a huge part of my life forever, just means the world to me.”
After winning World Sportswoman of the Year in 2014, Franklin was bitten by the Laureus bug. She soon became an Ambassador and visited the Foundation of Goodness programme in Sri Lanka.
“Laureus is the personification of everything I believe in,” she said. “The idea of Sport for Good is so powerful and I think the work we do with Laureus is some of the most important work in the world.”
And her Sri Lanka visit clearly made an impact – “The people you meet, the interactions you have, the stories you hear – they stay with you every single day,” she explains. “They break your heart and uplift your spirits at the same time. Seeing these people and what they’ve been through and yet how hard they are still working to better their community and raise each other up.”