Jul 30, 2012; London, United Kingdom; Missy Franklin (USA) holds up an American flag after winning a gold medal in the women's 100m backstroke finals during the London 2012 Olympic Games at Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY SportsRichard Mackson-US PRESSWIRE
(AP) LONDON - Missy Franklin is dedicating all her Olympic races to her home state of Colorado.
The 17-year-old swimmer said Thursday she was affected by the cinema shootings in the Denver suburb of Aurora, where she attends high school and trains.
"Every single race I'm going to have that Colorado incident back on my mind," she said. "It's such a terrible thing and I'm so shaken by it. They're in my thoughts this entire process."
Franklin, who lives in Centennial, Colo., said she and her parents didn't know any of the 12 shooting victims or the 58 others who were injured.
"But Aurora and Colorado in general is such a close state that when something like that happens we're all affected by it, no matter who it is," she said, adding that she had never been to the cinema where the shootings took place. "It's hitting very close to home."
Franklin and the rest of the U.S. swimming team was training in France when she first heard about the shootings through Twitter. Because of the time difference, she had to wait several hours to find out if any of her friends had attended the midnight showing of the Batman movie.
One of them did but "thankfully he was not at that theater," she said.