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Missy Franklin Named Fiesta Bowl Parade Grand Marshal

U.S. Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin has been named the grand marshal of the Fort McDowell Fiesta Bowl Parade, event organizers announced Thursday.

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Franklin joins other former Olympic medal winners Charles Barkley, ice skater Kristi Yamaguchi, softball player Jennie Finch and gymnast Keri Strug in being named grand marshal.

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"We are thrilled to have Missy Franklin serve as this year's Fort McDowell Fiesta Bowl Parade Grand Marshal," Fiesta Bowl Chairman of the Board Steve Whiteman said in a press release. "Missy's dedication to her sport and her performance in the classroom make her an inspiration to all young student-athletes around the world. She is an ideal person to lead our Parade."

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Franklin won four gold medals at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, winning the 100 and 200 meter backstroke events in individual competition, and was part of the gold medal-winning 4x100 medley and 4x200 freestyle relay teams. She also took home a bronze as part of the 4x100 freestyle relay team.

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Along with grand marshal duties, she was be a special guest at the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013, in Phoenix.