Bubbly Olympian and current Cal Golden Bear Missy Franklin showed a somber side this week when she spoke at the funeral of Claire Davis, a 17-year-old victim of the Arapahoe High School shooting. Davis was critically injured on the day of the shooting (December 13th) and died a week later in the hospital.
Although Missy started off smiling—the competitive swimmer’s default setting—she grew more solemn as her speech continued.
Franklin was asked to speak at the behest of Davis’ parents and remarked that she was honored by the request. Since she grew up in Arapahoe County, she graciously accepted the difficult speaking engagement.
Missy talked about Colorado’s fantastic ability to cope with tragedy, recalling how the Colorado community of Aurora rallied after the movie theater shooting in 2012. Franklin said: “But on every occasion, we have witnessed our wonderful community come together and assist and support those who are suffering.”
Franklin explained that she lived in the same Colorado neighborhood since she was eight months old and to watch the community support each other during these difficult times really brought her pride. Pride was a uniting emotion in her three-minute-long speech, citing it several times. “No matter where I live, I will always be proud to be a Coloradan and be proud to call it my home,” she said.
A foundation has been created in the aftermath of the shooting to help support the community through this difficult time. Claire’s parents serve as advisors for the Arapahoe High School Community Fund in their daughter’s honor.
In addition to the swimmer, speakers at the Davis service included Govorner John Hickenlooper and Senator Michael Bennett.
Missy concluded her speech emphasizing the pride she feels in her community, saying: “I am so proud to say where I come from, because where I come from is made up of people like you and people like Claire.”