After winning four Olympic gold medals in London, Missy Franklin has secured a coveted “internship.’’
The 17-year-old swimming phenom from Colorado told Matt Lauer on TODAY Friday that she will make a cameo in the upcoming movie “The Internship,’’ starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson. She will film the cameo in the next few months and the film is expected to be released next year, but Franklin's role remains top-secret.
“I am so excited about it,’’ she said. “You’re going to have to wait and see.’’
The five-time Olympic medalist began her senior year at Regis Jesuit High School last week, one day after making an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Another perk of her Olympic showing has been catching the attention of her favorite artist. Justin Bieber recently sent her a personalized care package.
“He notices you!’’ Franklin joked about her new-found fame. “He sent me a huge care package, which was so awesome. I walk home and my mom is so cute. She took everything out and set it out on the table, and I had T-shirts and CDs and posters and all that stuff.’’
Bieber is playing a concert in Denver in January, and Franklin is hoping to meet him in person.
“My friend actually bought me tickets for my birthday, so we’re going to go, and I think we might be able to get backstage passes hopefully,’’ she said.
In the midst of all the fun, Franklin is also mulling the serious issue of whether to turn professional. Throughout the Olympics, she professed a desire to remain an amateur so that she can compete in college, but still is weighing the decision now that lucrative sponsorship and endorsement offers have rolled in.
“Right now we’ve definitely talked about it a little bit,’’ Franklin said. “I think we still want to talk about it more. As of right now, we’ve had college coaches coming to the house, and I will be taking my visits in the fall, and we’ll go from there.’’
Franklin acknowledged concerns that deciding to go pro could look like she had gone back on her word.
“It’s hard,’’ she said. “I’ve definitely put it out there that I do want to swim in college. It’s something that I want to do, and I don’t want people to think that’s not how I feel any more because it is. I still think that I would want to swim in college. I’ve always wanted to do it, whether I’ve said something or not about it, so hopefully I get the chance.’’
One decision she has already made is to get the Olympic rings tattooed on her right hip, which she did last week.
“It’s the only tattoo I’m ever going to get,'' she said. "I kind of grew up going to meets where I was watching kind of all my big role models have that tattoo, so I’ve always wanted it so bad.''
In addition to her appearance on TODAY, Franklin, who is taking a month off from swimming post-Olympics, will participate in the Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day at the U.S. Open tennis tournament on Saturday in Queens. She may be playing doubles with a celebrity partner and anticipates looking like a fish out of water.
“I’m apologizing right now to everyone that has to watch,’’ she joked.
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