Friday, October 21, 2016
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Swimmer Missy Franklin featured in Visa Olympic campaign
In this Jan. 16, 2016, file photo, Missy Franklin watches the results board of the women's 200-meter backstroke during the Arena Pro Swim Series, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Stephen Spillman, File)
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Missy Franklin will be one of the featured faces of Visa's campaign at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, replacing fellow swimmer Michael Phelps who is aiming to compete in his final games.
Franklin's contract with Visa announced Friday gives the four-time Olympic gold medalist her biggest endorsement deal outside the pool since she turned pro last year after competing for two years in college. The 20-year-old has deals with swimwear maker Speedo and Minute Maid.
Joining Franklin on Team Visa are swimmer Connor Jaeger, gymnast Sam Mikulak and fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad. They are among over 40 athletes from around the world selected based on their personal stories, athletic achievements and community involvement.
Three-time beach volleyball gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings, World Cup-winning soccer player Carli Lloyd, 100-meter hurdles Olympic champion Sally Pearson of Australia and volleyball player Bruno Rezende of Brazil are other notable members.
The Team Visa campaign, which began in 2004, provides Olympic hopefuls with financial and marketing exposure leading up to the games.
Phelps, who turns 31 in June, is training for his fifth and last Olympics. The 18-time gold medalist had been a stalwart of previous Visa Olympic campaigns.