We were kind of hoping the new school year would allow “five-time Olympic medalist Missy Franklin” to go back to being a “17-year-old teen who worries about teachers, tests, and boys Missy Franklin,” and her recent Tweet about having “So. Much. Homework.” put us in an optimistic mood.
But on Thursday Tostitos Fiesta Bowl organizers announced that Missy, the likely new face of Team USA, would be serving as Grand Marshall at the 42nd annual parade on December 29, and then be a special guest for festivities like the coin toss at the Jan. 3 game in Glendale, Ariz.
“I have always loved college football, and I am looking forward to participating in this great community event, along with my family,” Franklin said in a statement we assume she neither wrote nor read. “It is an honor to join a list of U.S. Olympians who have been a part of the Fiesta Bowl Parade.”
The Fiesta Bowl has never been shy about having Olympic athletes serve as the Grand Marshall, including NBA MVP Charles Barkley, ice skater Kristi Yamaguchi, softball pitcher Jennie Finch, gymnast Keri Strug, and many more. So maybe the world record holding high school senior can go back to being a normal person next semester. Fingers crossed.
Steve Langton, who was described by driver Steven Holcomb as the “best push athlete in the world,” announced his retirement today.
A collegiate sprinter and jumper at Northeastern University, Langton decided to try bobsledding after watching the 2006 Winter Olympics. He filled out an online athlete resume, and, by the 2010 Games, he was an Olympian.
At the Sochi 2014 Games, Langton teamed with Holcomb to win a bronze medal in the two-man race. It was the first Olympic medal in the event by American sled since 1952. He claimed another bronze medal as a member of Holcomb’s four-man “Night Train.”
“In Sochi I competed on the world’s biggest stage, I won two medals for my country and I did so along not only the best teammates but best friends anyone could ever ask for,” Langton told USA Bobsled.
Langton, who has a 62-inch standing box jump and can squat more than 500 pounds, was described by Men’s Health as “the most powerful winter Olympian” in the lead-up to 2014 Games.
“[Langton’s] work ethic and discipline rubbed off on the other athletes and made everyone better,” said USA Bobsled & Skeleton Chief Executive Officer Darrin Steele. “I have no doubt that he’ll find success in the next chapter of his life as well.”
Langton appeared on “The Amazing Race” in 2015 with his girlfriend, Aly Dudek, an Olympic short track speedskater.
None of the push athletes on the current U.S. roster have Olympic experience. Holcomb will compete in the World Cup opener this Saturday with Sam McGuffie, a former University of Michigan football player. The race will be McGuffie’s World Cup debut.