After her brother Fran, a world-class swimmer, drowned during an open-water swimming event in Dubai, Maddy Crippen said she hoped something good would come from unexpected tragedy. “He’d want us to figure out what happened,” Maddy said, “to make sure it doesn’t happen to anyone in the future.”
This week, former International Olympic Committee Chairman Dick Pound announced he’d chair the five-person Open Water Review Commission appointed by USA Swimming to review Crippen’s death. A full report is expected in March.
When an athlete dies in competition, Pound said, “It is the duty of the sport community to conduct a thorough and complete review of the situation and the factors that may have caused or failed to prevent such a tragedy.”
Concerns have been raised about the water’s high temperatures as a contributing factor.
Maddy Crippen said yesterday that she was confident the committee will work to make safety a “first and foremost” concern at open-water — and other types of — swim events.
“I know I’ll be focused on this for years to come, so I’m just trying to prepare myself for all of that,” said Maddy. “Obviously, it would be a conflict of interest for me to be directly involved, but I’ll support the committee’s efforts in any way I possibly can.”