The 17-year old swimming star is from Aurora and attends high school and trains there. Although Franklin has family and friends residing there, she said she did not know any of the victims but will take the heartbreak of the tragedy into the pool as inspiration.
"Right now, all I can do is swim my heart out and hopefully make my state proud," she said.
Franklin is expected to compete in seven events at the 2012 London Games and the world-record holder is a favorite to get Olympic gold in more than a few.
The mature beyond her years Franklin, one of the U.S. Olympic team's brightest and biggest stars, just might make the whole country proud.