American Open Water Swimmer Dies at UAE Event

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Courtesy of shinealight on Flickr.

Francis Crippen, 26, died during a 10-kilometer Marathan Swimming World Cup event on Saturday in the United Arab Emirates, Reuters reports. No information has been released about the cause of his death.

Last year Crippen won bronze at the 10-kilometer distance at the world championships in Rome, he won bronze again at the 5-kilometer open water championships in Canada this year, and he had aspirations to become the first American medalist in open water swimming at the 2012 Olympics.

The cause of Crippen's death is under investigation. Both race officials and U.S. Swimming representatives have issued public condolences.

UPDATE: UAE officials have now claimed that Crippen died of “overexertion,” according to the New York Times. Early reports that he suffered a heart attack have been tacitly denied.

–Riley Blanton

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