Courtney Oakes

Missy Franklin’s aunt could come back with bronze from Olympics

Swimmer Missy Franklin had an incredible run at the Olympics in London, winning four gold medals and a bronze.

The family medal count could rise on Thursday, as Franklin’s aunt and sister of her mother DA — Cathy Campbell — could collect a bronze medal with the Canadian women’s soccer team.

Campbell is the team doctor for the Canadian team that lost a heartbreaking 4-3 overtime semifinal to the United States on Monday in Old Trafford, England, but could be part of a bronze medal celebration if the Canadians can beat France on Thursday.

The temper to Campbell’s joy was she missed seeing Missy — the 17-year-old swimming phenom who attends Aurora’s Regis Jesuit High School — swim live at the Olympics, in which she became an international sensation by setting two world records and winning two events individually and medalling with three relay teams (two golds and a bronze).

It was a brutal choice for Campbell, who made the decision to go to the Olympics with the women’s soccer team, knowing she might not be able to get free to see Missy swim given that soccer games were held in venues all across England and Scotland, not in London with the Aquatics Centre.

It was disappointing, but DA Franklin said Missy — who has dual citizenship with Canada herself — had some words of wisdom for her aunt.

“My sister and Missy are very close and she always wanted to be a part of Missy’s Olympic story,” DA said before leaving for London. “In January when Canada qualified, they asked her if she was going to go with Missy and if they needed to find another doctor. It was very emotional and she was crying and didn’t know what to do. Missy said ‘Aunt CJ, this is your Olympics, you have to be there with your girls.’”

With the exception of not being able to see Missy swim, Campbell loves being around the Canadian team according to DA, as she generally pitches in with other things such as shagging balls and helping water field.

Campbell could have still made it to see Missy swim if the Canadians hadn’t fared well, but they did, advancing out of Group C with a 1-1-1 mark, then beating Great Britain 2-0 in the quarterfinals to extend their run well beyond the end of the swimming on Aug. 4.

The team was poised for a shot to take on Japan on Thursday for a gold medal, only to see the Americans rally three times from goal deficits to eventually win on a header by Alex Morgan.

Canada — led by goal scoring machine Christine Sinclair, who had all three goals against the U.S. —  can claim bronze with a win over France on Thursday in Coventry, England.

It could put yet another exclamation point on an incredible Olympics for Franklin and her family.

Reach Sports Editor Courtney Oakes at sports@aurorasentinel.com or 303-750-7555

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