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Olympic Swimmer Shares Emotional Thank-You to Parents Olympic Swimmer Shares Emotional Thank-You to Parents

Missy Franklin delivered a thank-you message to her parents that is likely to bring you to tears.

Get those tissues ready.

Minute Maid’s #doingood campaign is back with a new digital film featuring U.S. Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin, who surprises her parents during a press conference in a Denver aquatics center by reading a heartfelt thank-you letter.

The #doingood campaign, now in its second year, reminds parents of all the things — big and small — they do every day to make a positive difference in their children’s lives. The creative battles the insecurity many moms and dads feel while trying to balance careers, family, hectic schedules and mounting pressure from social media.

In the new film released just in time for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, viewers first meet Dick and D.A. Franklin, who speak about the unique challenges and self-doubt they faced while raising an Olympic swimmer. Then Missy steps up to the podium, her back facing the pool as flashbulbs flicker, and begins to take questions from the media about the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. One reporter asks her what it means to have the support of her family.

What U.S. Olympian Missy Franklin Has to Say to Her Parents What U.S. Olympian Missy Franklin Has to Say to Her Parents

U.S. Olympian Missy Franklin shares an emotional thank-you letter she wrote to her mom and dad.

Wiping away tears, she unfolds a piece of paper and looks up at her parents in the stands as she tells them what an amazing job they’ve done. The film ends with a shot of the Franklin family embracing and a call to action from Minute Maid: Tell a parent they’re #doingood.

We spoke with Franklin to get her thoughts on the film:

Missy Franklin's parents watch her speak

Franklin on writing the letter:

“It was really hard, really emotional… how do you put 21 years of gratitude into a few pages? But once I started writing, it all flowed out. The words came from my soul. I hope this will inspire others kids to do same."

…on the shoot:

“I really wanted the moment to be authentic, so once I wrote everything down, I didn’t re-read the letter until the press conference. I was really nervous before I walked out… the gravity of what I was about to do suddenly hit me. Because even though writing a letter is a small gesture, it carries so much meaning, and I wanted to make sure we delivered it in the right way. I’m a huge crier, so the tears started flowing even before I read it.”

Missy Franklin hugs parents

…on her parents’ reaction:

“My mom cried immediately. And with dad, whenever I can get his eyes glistening, I know I’ve done a good job. The hardest part of the day was keeping it a secret, especially from my mom who always wants to know all details. Later that night, they told me how surprised they were. They asked if I could send them the letter because they wanted to read it over and over again. It was great to get the opportunity to tell them how much they mean to me, and getting to do so in front of so many people made it even more special.”

…on what she wanted the letter to convey:

“I wanted to get across the fact that the best thing my parents have done for me is love me. Having their love and support in my life is what has meant the most to me. I think another big part is my parents are older. Although I struggle with knowing I’ll have half as much time with my parents as most of my friends will with theirs, we make every second count. I wouldn’t be who I am if they hadn’t had me when they had me… because they’ve been able to pass on so much knowledge and life experience to me. In fact, the letter isn't about my athletic career. It’s more about the person I am today because of my parents. They’ve allowed me to do things inside and outside the pool, and to continue moving forward every day while keeping keep things in perspective. And at the end of the day, that’s what matters."

This text originally ran on the Coca-Cola Journey website and has been republished with permission. To learn more about the campaign and the shoot, see the full version of the story here.