CONSHOHOCKEN (CBS) – The highest honor in swimming is going to a local Olympic hopeful who was killed in competition this fall. Francis Crippen of Conshohocken will be posthumously inducted into a sport’s hall of fame.
Friday, Eyewitness News spoke to the 26-year-old’s longtime coach, who says he met the late swimmer when Crippen was about 5-years-old.
Germantown Academy head swim coach, Richard Shoulberg says he is still adjusting to life without one of his best athletes and one of his best friends by his side.
“This is Fran’s coffee cup, said Shoulberg as he pointed to the mug. We had coffee together every morning. He never once cleaned the cup,” said Shoulberg. “I cleaned it everyday for him.”
And each day Shoulberg is reminded of Crippen’s positive impact through murals like the one created by a 17-year-old who admired the international award winning swimmer.
“He did the whole thing by himself last week, said Shoulberg referring to the 17-year-old swimmer. “That will be a testament to Fran.”
Now there’s another honor for Shoulberg and Crippen’s family to be proud of. Fran will be inducted into the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame next year.
“It’s the highest level in our sport to be apart of the International Hall of Fame,” remarked Shoulberg. “It’s a wonderful honor; we didn’t want him to make it this way.”
The 2012 Olympic hopeful died last month in very hot weather conditions, during an open water race in the United Arab of Emirates.
The exact cause of death is still unknown.
Reported By: Jericka Duncan, CBS 3