What's buzzing:

Prep Rally

Missy Franklin visits sick children, continues to spread cheer regardless of season

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

At this point, Missy Franklin is virtually universally revered as an American treasure, an international athletic superstar who happens to be more down to earth than nearly any girl next door. Throughout her rapid rise to fame, Franklin has refused to ignore her roots, first returning to Aurora (Colo.) Regis Jesuit School and returning to classes as if nothing had happened, then insisting upon swimming for the Regis Jesuit swim team just for the collegiality of doing so.

A video or other embedded content has been hidden. Click here to view it.

Now Franklin is finding a practical way to merge her overnight celebrity and down home ideals, volunteering at Children's Hospital Colorado in Denver to cheer up the struggle of sick Colorado children.

As reported by the Denver Post and 9News.com, among other Rocky Mountain sources, Franklin spent Thursday at the hospital making rounds, visiting every sick child she could while trying to lift their spirits. For some youngsters, Franklin offered up one of her Olympic medals to try on. For others, she cracked a joke.

[Related: Rival swimmer predicts Michael Phelps will return for Rio Olympics]

Yet the best indication of just how modest Franklin truly is came when one young patient told the swimmer that they had been told a celebrity would be visiting. The patient was thrilled Franklin was that celebrity, while the swimmer had her doubts.

"What if they are expecting Brad Pitt or Taylor Swift, and I come walking in?" Franklin told 9News.com.

The message Franklin delivered was clear: Keep fighting, no matter what. She delivered it from room-to-room, patient-to-patient, trying to encourage hope. Eventually her day culminated in a hospital party, where the patients got to dance and celebrate with Franklin and her Regis Jesuit teammates.

It was a brief respite from a difficult journey for so many patients. Throughout it all, Franklin showed a knack for helping ease the burden on those who were younger and less fortunate than herself. As always, she proved a natural. Fewer things could be more fitting.

"These patients have such an impact on me," Franklin told 9News.com. "They are all amazing."

Want more on the best stories in high school sports? Visit RivalsHigh or connect with Prep Rally on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

More news from the Yahoo! Sports Minute:

Other popular content on the Yahoo! network:
Trip to Philly has nostalgic Kobe Bryant pondering future
Bowl season kicks off in thrilling fashion
Breakout fantasy football stars — and where they'll be drafted in 2013
Y! Finance: The five best places to live on the planet

View Comments (2)
  • 3 tell of gruesome injuries, death at Boston Marathon

    A woman who lost a leg in the Boston Marathon bombing described feeling as if she were in a horror movie: wounded people all around her, including someone covered with soot, dazed and ''walking around like a zombie.'' At the federal death penalty … More »

    AP - Sports - 5 minutes ago
  • Ciganda shoots 66, shares lead with Park

    Ciganda shoots 66, shares lead with Park

    Carlota Ciganda shot a 6-under 66 on Friday to move into a tie for the lead with Inbee Park after the second round of the HSBC Women's Champions. Ciganda offset a pair of bogeys with eight birdies at Sentosa Golf Club to finish even with Park (69) … More »

    AP - Sports - 6 minutes ago
  • Snow joke as daring Saints hit the icy pistes

    Snow joke as daring Saints hit the icy pistes

    LONDON (Reuters) - Premier League clubs usually use fixture-free weeks as an opportunity to escape the English winter and visit warmer climes but Southampton have taken a novel approach by heading to the Swiss Alps. Ronald Koeman's sixth-placed … More »

    Reuters - 8 minutes ago
  • Florida man to be sentenced for helping baseball star Puig flee Cuba

    By Zachary Fagenson MIAMI, March 6 (Reuters) - A Florida man who pleaded guilty to helping smuggle Los Angeles Dodgers slugger Yasiel Puig out of Cuba will face sentencing on Friday in federal court. Gilberto Suarez received $2.5 million sometime … More »

    Reuters - 9 minutes ago
  • UPDATE 2-Tennis-Davis Cup world group round 1 Draw

    March 6 (Infostrada Sports) - Draw from the Davis Cup World Group Round 1 matches on Friday Round 1Kazakhstan are level with 6-Italy 1- 1 4-Serbia lead Croatia 1- 0 … More »

    Reuters - 21 minutes ago