Embracing social work as the motto of her life post retirement, 2012 Olympic gold medallist swimmer Missy Franklin is currently working with Jharkhand-based NGO Yuwa and says her ultimate goal is to build a permanent school there for the young girls.
Franklin, who won four gold medals at the London Olympics, was asked to present Yuwa with the prestigious Laureus Sport for Good Award after she was elected into the Academy at its awards function last year in Monaco. The 24-year-old was so inspired by the girls from Yuwa and the work done by the organisation that she kept in touch with the organisation and has recently accepted the invitation to join its board.
“I’m so excited to say I’ve accepted so as well as being a Laureus Academy Member I am also now a board member at Yuwa and doing a lot of work with Franz and Rose for their community out there and for the school that they have for young girls,” she said. With the World currently in lockdown to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, Franklin’s support so far has been virtual, but she intends to visit the girls at Yuwa when circumstances allow.
“Ultimately, our plan is to build a permanent girls school there,” says Franklin, who won five Olympic gold medals and eleven World Championship titles before retiring at the age of 23 due to an injury.
“It is unbelievable what they’re doing, and so I’m really, really hoping I can get out there in the future to see everyone and see the girls, and learn a few football skills cause I’m a little lacking in that area!” The former swimmer, who is currently in quarantine in her home in the United States, stressed on need to come together to fight this global health crisis. “Laureus has shown through the power of sport, that lives can be changed and impact when we come together, when we all put our hearts and souls behind a cause, for a much greater purpose than just our own,” she said.
“That’s really what the world is going through right now, and we have already seen so many beautiful examples of the world coming together and standing united with one another, and… that’s a really beautiful thing in a really, really hard time. “I know I look up to every single one of the Academy members as role models, and for them to use their voice to talk about the important of that and of coming together, and being united and supporting each other, that makes people listen.”