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.
Tokyo 2020 venues for the new Olympic sports of baseball, softball, karate, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing were approved by the International Olympic Committee on Wednesday.
That brings the total number of Tokyo 2020 venues to 39, with the potential for more.
The venues for new sports:
Baseball/softball — Yokohama Stadium (20 miles south of Tokyo)
Karate — Nippon Budokan
Skateboarding and Sport Climbing — Aomi Urban Sports Venue
Surfing — Tsurigasaki Beach
All of the new sports do not currently have a spot on the Olympic program beyond 2020 (baseball and softball were previously on the Olympic program before being taken off after Beijing 2008).
Agenda 2020 reforms allowed Olympic host cities to propose the addition of sports for their Games only, which is what Tokyo 2020 did to get them on the program.
The Tokyo Olympic venues are split between two zones — the Heritage Zone and the Tokyo Bay Zone — that are separated by the Olympic Village.
Tokyo 2020 and FIFA are still discussing the finalization of soccer venues. There are currently six, including two in Tokyo and one as far away as Sapporo (650 miles north).
Tokyo 2020 and the World Baseball Softball Confederation are still discussing the potential of adding a second baseball-softball venue in Fukushima prefecture, the site of 2011 nuclear plant meltdowns caused by an earthquake and tsunami. Fukushima is about 150 miles north of Tokyo.
The Tokyo Dome, home of the Yomiuri Giants and several MLB and World Baseball Classic games, is not a 2020 Olympic venue.
MORE: Tokyo 2020 Olympic volleyball venue could be moved
Comcast and the U.S. Olympic Committee signed an agreement making Comcast an official partner of the USOC through the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The deal allows Comcast and its brands to use Team USA marks in advertising and marketing, including the Olympic Rings.
More information is in this Comcast press release.
Comcast NBC Universal holds the U.S. media rights for the Olympics through 2032.
MORE: NBC Sports to air USA Track and Field events through 2024