Fran Crippen On Saturday, October 23 the swim world was shattered to hear the news of 26 year old Fran Crippen's death during the FINA Open Water 10 Km World Cup in the United Arab Emirates. Fran was well known in the swim community. He was a member of the USA Swimming National Open Water Swimming Team. And he won several national swim titles in the United States. He was one of the best. He was greatly loved by his family, friends and large community of swimmers. Initially, preliminary reports suggested that Fran had a heart attack. Final reports of Fran's death was due to drowning from heat related causes due to environmental conditions. Heart abnormality could not be ruled out. Upon hearing the tragic passing of Fran, marathon swimmer Pat Gallant-Charette of the U.S. felt the intense sadness of this devastating news. And, it reminded her of the tragic passing of her brother Robbie who died at the age of 34 of a sudden and unexpected heart attack. He broke several swim records during his swim career, too. This prompted Pat to ask the community of national and international swimmers to swim on February 14 to unite in thought and action to bring an awareness of heart disease and prevention in their community. The response was overwhelming. The swim is named, "Valentine's Day...Swim for your Heart". Swimmers worldwide participate in this yearly global event. If you would like to make a donation to the Fran Crippen Elevation Foundation, please visit their website.
On February 14, 2013 swimmers worldwide will pay tribute to Norway s champion swimmer Alexander Dale Oen who died at the age of 26, earlier this year while training with his Norwegian teammates at the Olympic swim training camp in Flagstaff, Arizona . He died suddenly and unexpectedly of a heart attack. He was unaware that he had heart disease.
Alexander Dale Oen was preparing for the 2012 summer Olympics in London. He was expected to win a gold medal in the 100 meter breaststroke. He was a superstar in the swim world because of his great achievements& He won a gold medal at the 2008 European Swim Championships, a silver medal in the Beijing Olympics and was the first Norwegian to medal in swimming. In 2011, World Swim Championships, Dale won the gold medal for the 100 meter breaststroke and was honored by his home country as Norway s Sportsman of the Year.
In his memory, swimmers will go for a swim on Valentine s Day and send a donation to their favorite heart charity or program. In some locations, swimmers have invited their local medical community to provide free blood pressures, free cholesterol test and heart healthy information to all swimmers at poolside or open water venue. You are invited to join this cause. It s easy! Go for a swim on February 14 and send a donation to YOUR favorite heart charity or program.