October 24th, 2010
05:53 AM ET

Early tests suggest U.S. swimmer had heart attack

Preliminary medical tests indicate that Fran Crippen, a member of the U.S. swimming team, had a fatal heart attack during an open-water race in the United Arab Emirates, a swimming official told CNN on Sunday.

"So far, the preliminary medical tests indicate that [Fran] Crippen died of heart attack," said Ahmed Ibrahim, head of the water sports club in Fujairah.

Crippen, 26, died Saturday during the last leg of the 10-kilometer Marathon Swimming World Cup in Fujairah, the International Swimming Federation (FINA) said in a news release.

Swimming World magazine reported that Crippen fell unconscious during the event and was found by deep-sea divers two hours later near the race's final buoy.

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Filed under: U.S.
soundoff (62 Responses)
  1. simon

    Maybe a shark ripped his leg off and caused his heart attack?

    October 24, 2010 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
  2. kristy

    To those who are saying doping and moron and hurtful things and are asking for people who knew him on a day to day basis, well here I am. To say he was doping is an insult to his memory how dare you. I trained with fran in the same lane day after day in the summer time since he was young and he was an animal in the pool. This is a guy who coached kids and refused a salary. If you don't have something positive to write about fran go elsewhere his friends and family don't need to read your garbage now or ever.

    October 24, 2010 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Kylie

      Kristy,
      I am so sorry for your loss. This is a huge tragedy as we've lost an incredible athlete and a wonderful person. The fans of the sport morn the loss along with the athletes and his friends and family. Thoughts and prayers.

      October 24, 2010 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  3. loathar

    You mean people posting negative comments! Karma will get you in the end!

    October 24, 2010 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  4. M. G. Bently

    Many strong sports men have died from an undiagnosed heart condition usually
    on the Basketball court,life deals us an unusual fate ,always sad when this
    happens.

    October 24, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Robert

    He probably drowned after heatstroke, the "heart attack" angle is just an attempt to deflect attention from the water being too hot.

    By the way, a lot of people never heard of Fran Crippen, myself included. As bad as this early death is, in some ways it has immortalized him. RIP.

    October 24, 2010 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Tyler

    i cant tell this story like fran can but for me it is still inspiring. there was a point where fran quit. he missed making the beijing olympic open water team by a fraction of a second and was devastated. his life goal was right in front of him and he failed. he quit swimming for a few months and didnt think about it. then he decided it wasnt the end of the world. from there he got back in the pool and trained like a maniac to get back to his world class status. fran wouldnt quit ever and there are so many reasons to look up to him besides his tragic death.

    October 24, 2010 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Big Heart

    Many of todays dominant athletes, like Lance Armstrong, were born with enlarged hearts. This gives them an unfair advantage for obvious reasons. But their hearts don't last as long. This may be the case with this swimmer.

    October 24, 2010 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Enlarged Hearts

    MANY OF TODAYS DOMINANT ATHLETES, LIKE LANCE ARMSTRONG, WERE BORN WITH ENLARGED HEARTS, GIVING THEM AN UNFAIR ADVANTAGE. THE DRAWBACK BEING THEIR HEARTS GIVE OUT EARLIER IN THEIR CARREERS WITHOUT EXPENSIVE (AND OFTENTIMES BANNED) MEDS. I wonder if this might be the case with this swimmer.

    October 24, 2010 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Hector Pope

    This tragic death sounds like swimming-associated pulmonary edema whose mechanisms are not well understood by the medical community but have been reported in these types of atheletes.

    October 25, 2010 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  10. taz

    ..

    October 25, 2010 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mamagacho

    "He died doing what he loved".. Why do people say this? Nobody loves having a heart attack and drowning.

    October 26, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  12. news.blogs.cnn.com

    Early tests suggest u s swimmer had heart attack during race.. Retweeted it :)

    April 21, 2011 at 3:25 am | Report abuse |
  13. animacion hospitalaria

    I get pleasure from, lead to I found exactly what I used to be taking a look for. You have ended my 4 day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye

    September 22, 2012 at 4:54 am | Report abuse |
  14. MalloryMead

    Look at you spout off like you know what you are talking about...........

    Fran Crippen was the gentleman of our sport, and if I had to point a finger, it would be the water temperature in the HIGH 80s that also put his teammates in the hospital for heat exhaustion in the end.

    I am confident that no illegal substances willl be found. You're comment disgusts me.

    October 24, 2010 at 6:28 am | Report abuse |
  15. DisgustedReader

    Moron...case closed.

    October 24, 2010 at 6:51 am | Report abuse |
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