American long distance swimmer Fran Crippen was a fabulous athlete, wonderful friend, loving son and brother. His career awarded him as one of the US’ star athletes and his sudden death leaves not just a Nation, but the world mourning for their beloved swimmer. Keep reading to know all about Frank’s life, family, career and terrible death in his biography below and don’t miss the photos and video after the jump.
When a veteran athlete dies his or hers family, friends and fans cry for that tragic loss, but when it’s a young very promising athlete that was enjoying and giving fans a look at what a real distance swimmer can do, the hearts of millions gets shattered. With a heart of gold, bright smile and amazing personality he captivated the heart of anyone who knew him and the respect of fellow swimmers. He was a remarkable young man so when the news about his death was released we were in disbelief and thought that was just a terrible mistake or a really mean joke, but when the news was confirmed tears ran down our cheeks and we felt completely in shock, Fran’s death has left a big hole in our hearts.
Francis Crippen was born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania on April 17, 1984 making his age 26 years old. He was born to Patricia an insurance agent and Peter Crippen, Devon Prep’s head of admissions. Fran, along with his three sisters grew up in a house filled with swimming talent. His big sister Maddy and his inspiration, is a former Olympic swimmer and currently a member of the US Swimming’s Board of Directors and the Athletes Executive Committee, his younger sisters Teresa is this year’s National champion and finally Claire swims at the University of Virginia plus she is an NCAA All-American. All of the Crippen swimmers studied at Germantown Academy Aquatic Club in Fort Washington, PA. Fran’s swimming passion started at the early age of 6 when he began swimming merely in pools it was until he was 22 years old in 2006 that he went to open waters.
Fran studied at Germantown Academy where he was not just a great pool swimmer, a member on the 2001 National team who competed at the 2001 Goodwill Games in Australia he took the bronze home, he was also a fantastic Water Polo player in fact Most Valuable Player on 2002, but his swimming took him really far starting in 2000 when he flew to Barcelona where he competed as a member of the National Junior Team and was also part of the team at the 2001 Goodwill Games. He won first place at the 2001 summer Championships and also first at the Spring Nationals and second at the 2002 US Summer Nationals as a member of the USA Swimming All American Team. He graduated from High School in 2002.
He chose the University of Virginia where he joined the swimming team. At the 2002-03 season he won recognition with NCAA All American records, breaking records(ACC), named ACC Rookie and Swimmer of the year as well as named several times the Swimmer of the Week and 2003 MVP plus he won his first two silver medals at the 2003 Pan American Games in Santo Domingo. The following season he was once again named the 2004 Men’s ACC Swimmer of the Year, ACC Men’s Swimmer of the week (3 times), won Mention honors at four NCAA All American events. At the 2005-06 season and his Junior year once again he earned honor mentions at 2 NCAA events, the All-American Award and at the All-ACC Honors. During his Senior year at UV he became his team’s captain after his outstanding records (ACC Champion and swimmer of the year, and his college records in fitness and aquatics) plus he also won another silver medal the 2006 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships in Victoria, Canada. He graduated from UV with a major in Sociology in 2006.
After College he returned to his former Germantown Academy where he began his training with coach Richard Shoulberg. In 2007 he won the gold at the Pan American Games in Brazil and placed second during the 10K event at the 2007 Open Water National Championships. In 2008 he took a six month break from swimming time in which at one moment he even considered retiring, but he was back in 2009. He won the Bronze at the 2009 World Championships in Rome. This year Fran, who was living in Pennsylvania, took the silver home at the 2010 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships in Irvine, California and also at the INA 10K Marathon Swimming World Cup circuit in Argentina; TYR Sport Inc. announced that they signed Fran Crippen on their sponsor team until 2012. On Saturday October 23, 2010 Fran was competing at the FINA Open Water 10K World Cup event in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates when his teammates noticed he was looking exhausted during the third lap at the five lap race, but it was Alex Meyer who noticed he didn’t finish the race, Divers were in the sea immediately after his fellow swimmers didn’t succeed in his search but it wasn’t until two hours later that they found him unconscious before the final buoy. Fran was rushed to the Fujairah Hospital where he was pronounced dead, although investigations about his cause of death continue it is believed that he died at the event due to heat exhaustion since other swimmers were treated with the same symptoms and they reportedly said the water was too hot. Fran was planning a Italian vacation afterward and would be at the 2012 Olympic Games. Aside from his swimming career he also enjoyed watching Sportscenter where he would scream at the top on his lungs watching the Sixers, Eagles or Flyers game. He also loved to spend time with his family and enjoyed listening to music by Jay-Z. His authentic, down to earth personality was contagious, his kindness was admirable, Fran you will be missed – your memory will live forever in our hearts.
Our prayers and most sincere thoughts are with his lovely family, friends and fans throughout this difficult time. Would you like to send your condolences to his family? Share your thoughts about Fran? Check out the photos and video below.