Fran Crippen, a 26-year-old U.S. national team swimmer, was found dead during a race in Fujairah, a few miles east of Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Saturday. UAE officials have suggested that Crippenâ€™s death was due to â€œoverexertionâ€. Many swimmers during the competition complained about the water being hotter than usual. Even the U.S. swimmerâ€™s former coach, Richard Shoulberg, reported that recently Crippen told him that the water temperature was â€œ87 degreesâ€. However, Ayman Saad, executive director of the UAE swimming association, did not seriously consider that as the reason for his death. He stated that the officials for the FINA Open Water World Cup require a minimum water temperature, not a maximum. He went on to say that the water temperature was only 84 degrees at the start of the race, playing down the increased temperature of the water.
Fellow swimmers were the first to notice that Fran Crippen did not finish. Several returned to the water to search for him. While there, they found his body 400 meters before the finish line.Â He was then transported to Fujairah Hospital, where he was officially pronounced dead. The U.S. swimmer was from suburban Philadelphia. Teammates and fellow swimmers expressed their sentiments. "I can't even imagine how this could have happened to Fran," Alexander Meyer, Fran Crippenâ€™s teammate, said. Former Olympic silver medalist Kristy Kowal stated, "Fran you will be missed you were the best of the best.â€
The U.S. Olympic Committee issued a statement, "While details of this tragedy are still forthcoming, we shall keep this outstanding young athlete and his family in our thoughts and prayers.", reports CNN.