Fran Crippen was much more than a great swimmer, he was phenomenal person. Three years ago today, Fran died doing something he loved – racing open water swimming. But that fact doesn’t make it any easier on those whose lives he touched. Fran was a fierce competitor who never averted a challenge. I often watched with amazement has he persevered through a brutal training regime during the time he trained at the Mission Viejo Nadadores. Yet beyond the intensity he was a kind, giving and gentle man. He made his teammates better, he made his coaches better and when Fran was around things were just better.
As you look around the world today we can see evidence of Fran’s impact on so many lives. We all are better in knowing Fran’s spirit. And whether or not you knew him personally, his legacy in the world of swimming is significant.
Let us not forget to live a little or a lot like Fran: Attack the opportunities in front of us with drive and passion. Share a smile. Compliment someone for job well done. Tell a joke and laugh hard. Eat an apple and a banana. Teach someone a new skill. Be there when someone needs a friend. Encourage those around us to be better. Be thankful (Fran was so gracious).