Monday, September 17, 2012

Swimmers helping Swimmers

Last Friday, in Greensboro, North Carolina, 38 members of the Athletes' Committee from around the nation took time out of their busy meeting schedule at the United States Aquatic Sports Convention to teach some local children how to swim (and have fun!)

Thursday, April 28, 2011


The last week has been full of movement in Open Water Swimming on the National and International Level. Since the release recommendations from the USA Swimming Open Water Review Committee three major headlines have been posted with regards to Open Water Safety.

1. USA Swimming BOD votes to Relocate US Nationals to Fort Lauderdale

4/22/2011 - The 2011 USA Swimming Open Water National Championships have been relocated from Fort Myers, Fla., to Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The 10k race will be held June 10 and the 5k race will remain on June 12. The USA Swimming Board of Directors approved this change in venue.

The change in venue is designed to provide the safest possible environment for the event, and is in keeping with recommendations made by the Open Water Commission, which included the recommendation that races exceeding 5K should not be held in water above 31 degrees Celsius (87.8 degrees Fahrenheit). Because the water temperature in Fort Myers could exceed that temperature, the decision was made to move the event now, rather than potentially having to cancel the race on or near the day.

2. FINA Releases Report

Francis Crippen, a long distance swimmer from the United States of America (USA) passed away during the FINA 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup race that took place in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Saturday 23 October 2010.

In order to better understand the circumstances surrounding the tragic accident, the International Swimming Federation (FINA) appointed a Task Force to address all the issues related to the death of open water swimmer Francis Crippen.

3. OPEN WATER GRAND PRIX 2011: Sumidero Canyon Event cancelled

26 April 2011 - Please be informed that the FINA Executive has decided to cancel the Sumidero Canyon Event of the 2011 FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix Series scheduled for May 7, 2011.

This decision has been reached following the recommendation of the FINA Sports Medicine Committee on the water quality in order to ensure the Health and Safety of the FINA open water swimmers.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Nearly six months after the tragic and untimely death of USA Swimming National Team Member Fran Crippen, steps are being taken Stateside. This week, the USA Swimming Appointed Open Water Commission Releases Recommendations, the Crippen Family (see below) and FINA respond, and USA Swimming announces the hire of an Open Water Program Manager.

Crippen Family Statement:
"The Crippen family is grateful for the time and effort USA Swimming and the USA Swimming's Open Water Swimming Commission put into the development of this report. The Commission's report will help facilitate the development of safer guidelines for open water swimming and aid in assuring athlete's safety moving forward. As a family, we know we can not change the circumstances that led to the tragedy that occurred on October 23rd, but it is our goal to honor Fran and his legacy by looking to the future and advocating for athlete's safety moving forward."

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Worldwide Tribute to Fran Crippen

If you are looking for a way to be a part of Fran Crippen's memorial this weekend, but can't make to Conshohocken, PA. Take part in the Worldwide Tribute to Fran Crippen.

Details below.

Time: Saturday, October 30 · 9:00am - 9:30am
Location: Your Closest Body of Water (ocean, lake, river...)
Created By: Alyss Lange, Brent Anhorn
More Info: Over 21,000 people have shown they care on the "In Memory of Fran Crippen" FB page. We also hope thousands will take the time to attend this Saturday's Worldwide Event.

For those who cannot attend the funeral this Saturday and would like to pay tribute to Fran, please join us by bringing fresh rose petals (or any flower) to your nearest ocean, lake or river and releasing them into the open water at exactly 9:00am EDT.

Take a moment of silence to celebrate the life of a true hero, friend, brother, son, teammate and inspiration to all who knew him...

==> Capture the moment on camera and upload it to the "In Memory of Fran Crippen" Facebook Page ( and share it with the world.

May you forever swim in peace.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Men's 4x100 Ranked Among Top Sports Calls

Earlier this month Joe Posnanski of Sports Illustrated put together a list of 32 great sports calls. If you're a sports aficionado like me, you'll appreciate each of the calls on this the well rounded list. And if you're a die hard swimming fan, you'll get chills reliving this Beijing moment. Enjoy!

18. Dan Hicks on Jason Lezak’s comeback to keep Michael Phelps’ dream of eight gold medals alive at the 2008 Olympics

What I love about this call is that Hicks, like the rest of us, is quite certain that the U.S. is going to lose. He only slowly figures out that Jason Lezak, against all odds, is gaining ground. And we figure it out with him.*

“The world record is absolutely going to be shattered here. The United States trying to hang on to second, they should get the silver medal. … Now, though, Lezak is closing a little bit on Bernard. Can the veteran chase him down and pull off a shocker here?… Bernard is losing some ground! Here comes Lezak! Unbelievable at the end! He’s done it! The U.S. has done it! (3:25 mark on the video.)

*This reminds me of the classic call of the Rumble in the Jungle between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. For seven rounds Ali basically leaned on the loose ropes and let Foreman hit him. It was such a shocking strategy that it did not seem possible that he was doing it on purpose. Who would let George Foreman hit him?

The announcer, Colonel Bob Sheridan, didn’t see it, couldn’t see it, he was like the rest of us. But late in the eighth round, it suddenly dawned on him. “Maybe,” he said, “this could be the tactic of Ali to let the man punch himself out.” Absolutely perfect. By the time Sheridan realized it, by the time Foreman realized it, by the time the rest of the world realized it, it was too late. Twenty seconds later, Ali landed his flurry, Foreman fell, and the fight was over.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Remembering Fran

On Saturday, October 23rd, USA Swimming National Team Member Fran Crippen passed away during the Open Water World Cup 10k race in the United Arab Emirates. The cause of death remains unknown, however USA Swimming announced today that, regardless of the actions taken by others, they plan to investigate the cause of death in hopes of preventing a tragedy of this nature from happening again.

The following articles express some of the reactions of those who were closest to him, including German Town Academy Coach Richard Shoulberg, Mission Viejo Nadadores Coach Bill Rose, and Sister Maddy Crippen.

As a competitor Fran was a force to be reckoned with, as a National Team Member he had become a veteran leader, as a friend he was a compassionate individual, and as a brother he was a 'hero.' Above all he was Fran.

Fran was more than a National Team Athlete, he was a National Team Advocate. He cared deeply about athlete rights and had an incredible ability to put personal opinion aside and make decisions based on the athletes as a whole. Most recently he was outspoken in favor of the Athletes Partnership Plan during the annual USAS Convention in Dallas, TX.

On Sunday evening during a USA Swimming Athletes Executive Committee (AEC) conference call, Fran was unanimously voted the National Team Vice Chair - a position for which he had accepted the nomination just prior to leaving for the U.A.E. Fran will remain in this position as an honorary member through the end of the term in 2012.

Condolences to the Crippen Family - one of the quintessential families of our sport.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Swimmer's Creed goes to a Vote

America's Swim Team is looking for a new declaration to add to the Swimmer's Creed and its putting the finalists against each other in a vote. Visit the America's Swim Team website to vote for your favorite declaration, as well as download wallpapers and read the rest of the creed.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Vote Swimmers as Top Sports Kids of the Year

USA Swimming has two of the ten finalists for the 2010 Sports Illustrated for Kids "Sports Kid of the Year." 11 year old Olivia Calegan of Quad Cities Aquatics and 15 year old Missy Franklin of the Colorado Stars.

Voting is unlimited, so visit the SI for Kids website this week. Voting closes on October 18 at 12 P.M. EST.

The three finalists, as chosen by your votes, will be revealed on October 19.

Monday, October 11, 2010


For those of you that couldn't follow along daily, here's a recap of some of the major news affecting USA Swimming Athletes over the past week, as well as some additional info worth reading:

A Three-peat for LA?

Athlete Rep Erin Popovich Retires

USA Swimming Board of Directors Announced

Make A Splash Reaches half a Million