Swimming's Rich Little Poor Girl (I) 见钱不开眼的游泳小女孩 (之一)

米基·富兰克林在财政上有个与众不同的问题,就是人们愿意出钱给她,但是她总是不愿意接受。

无论是对至少是十三万美金有关潜在获得名次的赞助,还是对某些商品或者名人的支持所能获得的费用;更不是她的代理可以预备赞助并对她和她全家带来翻天覆地经济的变化 这些,她都不在乎。

她说,“我想我爸爸可能会对没有得到一辆保时捷,没有到夏威夷度假而感到扫兴。”

富兰克林是一位在科罗拉多的16岁游泳选手;她很有希望在2012年的奥运会上得金牌。她被认为是目前世界上最佳的200米自由泳和200米仰泳选手。然而,她的目标是最终在大学里游泳,(虽然她还没有决定上哪一个大学)。

情况是这样的:如果按她世界级的才能拿钱的话,那美国大学体育协会就会认为她是一个职业运动员,从而失去了参加任何大学生的体育竞赛项目。富兰克林不想做这样的交易 - 为了金钱而失去她的大学生身份。

在她俱乐部的科罗拉多明星对的教练,塔德·施密茨说,“她比我好多了。”

富兰克林的困境是很特殊的。实际上,在其他的运动里,运动员是没有可能在这个年龄的时候有可能有这样巨款的机会的。绝大部分的游泳选手是大学训练的结果,所以他们从来不需要在金钱和大学生身份中做选择。除非是极其个别的拔尖人才,才会在他们中学毕业以前,就赢得了人们的赞赏,因此人们愿意为此而投钱。

迈克尔·菲尔普斯,这位奥运会16块奖牌的得主,决定在他十几岁的时候就成为职业运动员。这样做的话,也是可以的。菲尔普斯一年在支持商品或者人物中就获得五百万美金。根据吉姆·安德鲁斯,一个赞助和顾问研究公司 - IEG的资深副总裁消息。

当然,菲尔普斯是屈指可数的运动员,但是富兰克林是在巅峰,正要成为一个明星。在科罗拉多州,圣坦尼尔市读高一的富兰克林,身高是1.85米,脚穿48号鞋,她就是在去年夏季全美游泳大奖赛中获得最高头衔,但是拒绝接受同奖杯一起颁发的二万美金的支票。在随后的比赛中,她又赢得了五枚奖牌,包括在七月份举行的世界游泳竞标赛中的三枚金牌。此外,她要参加礼拜五在奥斯汀举办的德克萨斯州游泳大奖赛。

虽然无法计算在奥运会之前,富兰克林总共可以得到多少钱。安德鲁斯说,即使不计算她已经拒绝的钱,她仍然可以得到几十万美元。



讨论问题

1. 你是否准备观看今年夏季的奥运会?

2. 你最喜欢观看奥运会的哪一个比赛项目?

3. 在奥运会的比赛中,你会关注哪些运动员?能不能告诉我们他们是谁?

4. 你是否参与奥运会比赛项目的体育活动?

5. 如果你是米基·富兰克林,你会不会接受那些钱而成为一位职业运动员呢,还是按照她心里所想的拒绝那些钱呢?为什么你会做这样的决定?

Missy Franklin has a money problem. People keep offering her a lot of it—and she keeps saying no.

No to more than $130,000 in potential winnings and counting. No to several endorsement offers. No to agents, would-be sponsors and life-changing opportunities for her and her family.

"I know my dad could be chillin' in a Porsche in Hawaii," she said.

Franklin is a 16-year-old swimmer from Colorado and gold-medal favorite in the upcoming 2012 Olympics. She's considered the best in the world at both the 200-meter freestyle and the 200-meter backstroke. Her dilemma is that she eventually wants to swim in college. (She's undecided on where.)

Here's the thing: Cashing in on her world-class talent would make that impossible because the NCAA would consider her a professional and therefore ineligible to compete. Franklin isn't willing to make that trade.

"She's a better person than I am," said Todd Schmitz, her club-team coach with the Colorado Stars.

Franklin's quandary is unique. In virtually every other sport, athletes don't have the option to make such large sums at this age. Most elite swimmers are products of college programs, so they never have to choose between money and eligibility. Only a few are good enough to attract lucrative offers before they graduate from high school.

Michael Phelps, the 16-time Olympic medalist, opted to turn pro as a teenager. That's turned out OK: Phelps earns about $5 million a year in endorsements, according to Jim Andrews, the senior vice president at IEG, a sponsorship and consulting research firm.

     Of course, Phelps is a once-in-a-generation athlete, but Franklin is on the cusp of becoming a major star. A high-school junior from Centennial, Colo., who stands 6-foot-1 with size-13 feet, Franklin claimed the overall title in USA Swimming's Grand Prix series last summer—and turned down the $20,000 check that came with the trophy. She followed up that performance by winning five medals, including three golds, at the FINA World Championships in July. She will compete at the Austin Grand Prix in Texas starting Friday.

Though it's unclear exactly how much money Franklin could wind up forfeiting in the run-up to the Olympics, Andrews said she still could be in line to "pick up a few hundred thousand dollars."



Discussion Questions:
1. Do you plan to watch the Olympic games this summer?

2. What are your favorite Olympic games to watch?

3. Which athletes will you be watching for during the Olympic games? Can you tell us about him or her?

4. Do you participate in any sport that is an Olympic sport?

5. If you are Missy Franklin, what would you do - take the endorsement money (turn professional) or refuse the endorsement money (follow your dream to swim in college)? Why?

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