In the heart of the United States, Colorado is still coming to grips with the Aurora movie theatre tragedy, which took 12 lives and injured over 50 others. As the 2012 Olympics get set to begin in London, the spirit of Colorado is represented by athletes competing in a number of different sports.
Highlighting the line up is 17-year-old swimmer Missy Franklin. Franklin considers Aurora her home and was terribly shaken by the tragedy. Even before last week, she was the golden child of Colorado. Franklin will compete in a total of seven events during the two-week period. Individual events include: the 100-meter and 200-meter races in both the freestyle and backstroke. She will also compete on three relay teams over the course of the Olympics
Because of the altitude and the prominence of the University of Colorado’s running program, Colorado is also well represented in the running category. Current Colorado Buffalo teammates Shayla Kipp and Emma Couburn will both compete in the steeplechase, while former Buff Jenny Simpson Barringer will also compete.
Additionally, because the U.S. Olympic training center is in Colorado Springs, many athletes make their residence in the city. This includes gymnast John Orozco, two-time Olympic medalist in shooting Matt Emmons and members of the shooting and wrestling teams.
In times of tragedy, sports can provide a sense of community. This was particularly true after September 11th in New York, and in New Orleans with the Saints after Hurricane Katrina. For Colorado, the Olympics give its residents the ability to unite and show the endurance of the state.