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The Swimming Community Remembers Fran Crippen

 Fran crippenOne year ago today the competitive swimming world lost an amazing friend, athlete and talent. Crippen was swimming the last of a series of FINA 10k open water races in the United Arab Emirates and at the end of the race his absence was noticed by teammate Alex Meyer. Presumably after searching for Crippen and not finding him, Meyer and other swimmers returned to the water to try to locate Crippen. Two hours after the finish of the men's race, and after 90 minutes of searching by other swimmers, Crippen's body was found underwater by deep-sea divers near the race course's final buoy about 500 yards from shore.

Fran Crippen was known as a long-distance swimmer. After being a pool swimmer for most of his career, and enjoying a tremendous career at the University of Virginia in which he was an 11-time All American and two time Atlantic Coast Conference swimmer of the year, Crippen made the transition to open water swimming in 2006 where he had tremendous success. In international competitions, Crippen won seven medals, five of which were in the open water and two in the pool.

Today however, is a day the swimming world will mourn the loss of a truly amazing contributer, and one who will never be forgotten thanks to his accomplishments both in and out of the pool, as well as his charming smile and down to earth personality.

Anyone who knew him knew that he loved to swim, he loved to race, and he died doing exactly that.

Crippen has a foundation in his name, known as the Fran Crippen Elevation Foundation (FCEF). The FCEF strives to make a difference in the lives of inspired athletes who share Fran’s zeal and class. They provide athletes with financial resources, inspiring them to continue to work their dreams and reach their goals through the Work the Dream Grant.

The first year recipients for the 2011-2012 year were Matt McLean, former University of Virginia swimmer and seventeen-time ACC Champion, fifteen-time NCAA All American, and 2011 NCAA Champion in the 500 freestyle. and Ashley Twichell who was a two-time ACC Champion and a three-time NCAA All-American in the 1650 freestyle.

Fran believed that sport has the strength to exceed barriers, both those which we have in ourselves as well as those we share with others. For Fran, there was no dream not worth dreaming believed that there was no barrier to high to be overcome. His legacy continues with members of Team Fran all over the world.

Today i encourage everyone, no matter your sport, to "Work the Dream."


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Excellent post. I remember the day this happened. What a tragedy. A great tribute to Crippen.

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