CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4) – There was a big welcome home ceremony for Colorado’s Olympians who just got back from London as Gov. John Hickenlooper hosted a party on Saturday in their honor.
Olympic pride rode high in Centennial. According to the city’s mayor, it was a big event for a city that incorporated just 12 years ago.
“But also 12 years ago, something else was happening in our city. A 5-year-old girl was starting swim team,” Mayor Cathy Noon said as she looked at Missy Franklin.
And for a 5-year-old named Faith in the crowd, there was special meaning.
“She was on swim team this year and she loves Missy Franklin,” Faith’s father said.
Franklin, who brought home four golds and a bronze, was greeted on stage with the tune that followed her through the games — Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe.”
PHOTO GALLERY: Colorado’s Missy Franklin At The Olympics
Centennial’s very own golden girl is happy to be home.
“Just being able to be home again is the best feeling in the world,” Franklin said. “And being able to come out here and have all of your support it’s what makes it worth it.”
The Colorado Olympians were treated to a rock star style stage in Centennial, and some of the biggest fans were young people.
“I loved it, honestly I was singing too,” young Emma Alpern from Centennial said.
“I think she’s a great role model, she’s worked hard,” Emma’ mother Erica Alpern said. “I love that she represents her school well, she represents Colorado really well.”
Franklin was joined by five fellow Colorado athletes. Discus thrower Lance Brooks from Denver signed autographs, and Larkspur’s Taylor Ritzel showed off her gold medal for rowing.
For those future Olympians, like Faith perhaps, Franklin says “just have fun.”
“No matter what you’re doing, whether it’s sports or athletics or music, just have fun with it and make sure you always do what you love; and if you do your best you’ll be proud of yourself,” Franklin said.
Franklin is settling back into home life in Colorado. She says she missed playing with her dog. And while her attention will certainly turn back to swimming, for now she’s focusing on her classes at Regis Jesuit High School where she’s a senior this year.