The Open Water World Misses A Gentleman And Hero

The Open Water World Misses A Gentleman And Hero

A gentlemen. A hero. An inspiration. And a life well led, but cut down entirely too short. The open water swimming world has lost a gentlemen today. A genuine hero. And an inpiration: Fran Crippen.

In the world of open water swimming, Fran stood out. Not because he won races. Not because he won both pool and open water swimming national titles.

But because he helped people. He cared for people. He gave freely of himself to those around him.

In a world consumed with competitiveness, winning and how to get ahead of others, Fran freely shared his knowledge and experience with his competitors. He had a smile for everyone and when he shook your hand and looked you in the eye, he meant it sincerely.

He gave it his all, but if he lost, he was the first to congratulate the victors. If he won, he was the first to shake hands and pay respect to his rivals.

Just a few weeks ago, Fran won a FINA World Cup race,” recalled Olympian Mark Warkentin. “He won a great race and then stood at the finish to shake everyone’s hand and sincerely tell each finisher that it was a great race. He was someone special.”

So, today, we cry for a friend – an entirely too young of a friend – and his family. We cannot imagine what he went through in the final moments of his life, but we know that he was a modern-day hero and inspiration not only in the open water swimming world, but also in life onshore, on the pool deck and to the world at large.

We miss you.

For information on Fran’s passing, visit here.

Copyright © 2010 by Steven Munatones
Steven Munatones