Fran Crippen, Swimmers Remember His Legacy

Fran Crippen, Swimmers Remember His Legacy

Olympian Mark Warkentin shared a touching story about Fran Crippen.

The story is typical of the hundreds of other warm memories that friends, teammates, competitors and coaches have of Fran, the young open water swimming star who was tragically lost yesterday, whether he was onshore, in the water, on the pool deck:

“[At the FINA 10KM Marathon Swimming World Cup in Cancun, Mexico this October], I finished in a pack of five swimmers who all came into the finish about 11 seconds behind the winner, Fran Crippen. After the pack touched, we stood for a moment, took off our goggles and collected our bearings. Standing just past the finish line was Fran, waiting to give every one of us a handshake. At the moment when an open water champion usually basks in the glory of victory, Fran had a demeanor of pure altruism. It was something I’ve never seen from a champion after a race. Fran deliberately acknowledged every athlete that he had just raced as a confirmation of respect for the effort.

Fran has a significant reputation in the open water swimming community as a physical, smart, and tremendously determined athlete and I have always held the highest respect for him as a competitor. Beyond the race, Fran was clearly the USA Swimming Open Water team leader. With a dynamic personality and legendary work ethic, Fran has been a significant ambassador for USA and for the sport of open water swimming worldwide. I will miss him greatly.

Copyright © 2010 by Steven Munatones
Steven Munatones