Champion swimmer and former UVA student dies at tournament

By: Andy Jenks - bio | email

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES (WWBT) - New information this morning on the death of a former UVA star and world champion swimmer Fran Crippen.

According to swimming world magazine, "several" swimmers were treated for heat exhaustion after the 10-kilometer world cup just south of Dubai.

It's still not clear what caused "Crippen's" death, but it's clearly a significant loss to the sport.

26-year-old Fran Crippen, was a highly decorated swimmer.

He's received medals from around the world: including a silver at the Pan Pacific Championships and a gold at the Pan American Games.

Crippen even competed in the 2004 U.S. Olympic trials.

So on Saturday when the Philadelphia native and former UVA standout competed in the final open water, he appeared to be accomplishing yet another goal, until something went horribly wrong.

Late in the 10-kilometer race, Crippen reportedly told his coach he wasn't feeling well.

And according to reports the world champion swimmer did not finish.

He was found dead in the water some two hours later.

Swimming World Magazine reported that the water temperature at the Dubai event was in the mid to high 80's.

USA Swimming said coaches, athletes, members and employees were "deeply saddened" by Crippen's death.

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