Missy Franklin, the most celebrated female Olympian from the 2012 London Olympic Games, is staying true to her word. She will attend college and forego millions in potential endorsement revenue.
While that has been Franklin’s well-publicized plan all along, some sources felt Franklin might reconsider given her global visibility and star-power. After media-rounds on the talk-show circuit, a cameo appearance on film with A-list stars Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, and carepackages from Justin Bieber, Franklin remains America’s Darling.
After winning five Olympic medals, four of which are gold, Franklin wants the college experience more than the pro-lifestyle. Thursday night, Franklin celebrated USA TODAY’s 30th anniversary and reiterated her feelings on the subject to the media outlet:
“I love being a part of a team and I know in college sports that’s amplified by a hundred… Every time you go to a meet you see the college team walk in together cheering for each other. That’s so cool, and I want to be a part of that… I know that the teammates I have in college are gonna be my bride’s maids in my wedding. I would love to swim professionally one day, but I know right now swimming in college is what my heart really wants to do.”
Industry analysts have varying estimates on what Franklin could’ve earned had she given up her eligibility and gone pro, $1,500,000, $3,000,000, even $10,000,000. However, they all add that Franklin missed her earning window, the 18-month time period leading up to the Olympic Games. That’s when most endorsement deals are made. Franklin will always be marketable after her star-turn in London, and, if she decides to turn pro in 2015, she’ll surely be well-compensated for her brand strength.
NOTE: Franklin’s first college recruiting trip here.
NOTE: USA Today confirmed that Franklin did miss the Olympic Team’s visit to the White House to meet President Obama and The First Lady. Franklin explained to USA Today, “I have school and I didn’t want to miss it.”