Champion Swimmer Fran Crippen Dies in Competition
At 26, Fran Crippen, a six-time U.S. National Champion, was one of America's top endurance swimmers. Now, his family is outraged about the circumstances surrounding his death.
Fran Crippen's older sister Maddy, a former Olympic swimmer herself, is in shock today, saying, "It's really a senseless death."
Her brother, died over the weekend after swimming in hot water off the coast of Dubai in the middle east.
Fran Crippen swam long distance races in the open ocean, and swam way in front of the pack. Few in the world could touch him.
The star American swimmer died Saturday, apparently from a heart attack due to over-exertion from the heat during a grueling six mile World Cup race. Divers found his body 400 yards from the finish line.
Now a remark by the Executive Director of the local swimming association in Dubai is sparking outrage when he said, "We are sorry that the guy died but what can we do? This guy was tired and he pushed himself a lot."
INSIDE EDITION's Megan Alexander asked Maddy about the statement, saying, "What was your first reaction?"
Maddy Crippen replied, "I think it's insensitive. I heard it for the first time this morning. I'm hoping there are translation issues."
Olympic champion Michael Phelps paid tribute to his friend on Facebook, posting, "We lost a great person and swimmer. It's a tragic loss."
Even the winner of the race, Thomas Lurz of Germany, says it was just too hot to hold a competition.
"The water was amazingly hot. There were many swimmers who had serious problems in the water," said Lurz.
Some swimmers said the water felt like 90 degrees. Many emerged with swollen fingers and toes. Three were hospitalized.
Crippen died before he could achieve his dream of winning a gold medal in the 2012 summer Olympics.
On a previously recorded video, Crippen said, "I was very excited about the possiblity of being an Olympian, which has always been my dream ever since I was little."
Now his family can only mourn the death of a champion.
The swimming association in Dubai claims the water was 84 degrees at the start of the race, not the 90 degrees some of the competing swimmers had claimed.