The third time was the charm for Evanston native Tori Franklin, as she is preparing for her trip to the Olympics after securing her spot in the triple jump after a year that saw her overcome plenty of adversity.
Franklin finished in second during the recent Olympic trials in Oregon, and now she's got her bags packed and is set to travel to Tokyo later this month.
“I'm just so excited that I finally got the standard and finally was able to make this team. It's been a dream of mine for the longest,” said Franklin.
She was introduced to triple jump in high school by her coach at Downers Grove South, and has been doing it ever since.
“I had no idea what it was but coach Rundy, she knew she saw something in me I guess and so I’ve been doing triple jump ever since,” she said.
As a freshman at Michigan State, Franklin competed in the 2012 Olympic Trials but didn't reach the qualifying standard to make the U.S. roster. She was disappointed again in 2016, but she says those setbacks helped inspire her to work even harder heading into this year's event.
The road to those trials was certainly a tough one, however. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Franklin moved to Paris for training, but she was kicked out of her group midyear because she says her coach stopped believing in her.
“The coach just didn’t feel like I had what it takes mentally to podium and said he wasn’t excited to coach me anymore and said I should find somebody else,” said Franklin.
Despite those adversities, she did not lose faith in herself. Franklin returned to Michigan to train with her new coach, Sterling Roberts, and after finishing second in the Olympic trials she is set to leave for Tokyo later this month. J
“Anyone out there that’s feeling like things are really tough and they don’t know how they are going to accomplish their goals just don’t stop. Keep going and truly believe in yourself (and) you’ll find a way. You’ll make a way,” she said.