Funeral services have been set for Saturday, Oct. 30, for Francis E. Crippen, 26, of Conshohocken, a medalist in international swimming competitions from Rome to Rio who died Saturday, Oct. 23, off the coast of the United Arab Emirates during a 10-kilometer open-water swimming competition.
A 9 a.m. visitation at St. Matthew Roman Catholic Church, 219 Fayette St., Conshohocken, is to be followed by a 10:30 a.m. Funeral Mass there, with burial in Calvary Cemetery in West Conshohocken.
Mr. Crippen's mother, Patricia, said Monday that "Fran's friends are in the process of setting up a fund" in his honor. She asked that donations be sent to the Fran Crippen Elevation Foundation, 301 E. Eighth Ave., Conshohocken, Pa. 19428.
The 10-kilometer swim was the event in which Mr. Crippen had been building an international reputation in recent years.
"He was due to take a break," his mother said, because the UAE event marked "the end of the World Cup circuit," in which he had been competing since January.
"He was going to be back in the water in three weeks," she said, "training through to June, when they have the first round of trials for the 2012 Olympics."
She said he began swimming when he was 6 at the Ply-Mar Swim Club and then the Plymouth Whitemarsh Aquatic Club.
Asked whether he showed promise that young, she said: "He just loved to swim, just being in the water, had a lot of fun with it."
Born in Bryn Mawr, Mr. Crippen graduated from Germantown Academy in 2002 and earned a degree in sociology at the University of Virginia in 2006.
As at Germantown Academy, he was a force to be reckoned with in the water at Virginia, an 11-time all-American who was twice named swimmer of the year in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Mr. Crippen's athletic ability had carried him across the nation, to Europe, to South America, and to repeated successes.
In June, he won the men's 10-kilometer race at the U.S. national open-water swimming championships in Long Beach, Calif.
In July 2009, he won the bronze medal in the 10-kilometer open-water race at the world championship in Rome.
In July 2007, swimming in the 10-kilometer open-water event, he won a gold medal at the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro.
In August 2006, he earned the silver medal in the 10-kilometer open-water event at the Pan Pacific Championships in Victoria, British Columbia.
Mr. Crippen was not alone in his swimming prowess. A sister, Madeleine, finished sixth in the 400-meter individual medley at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. Another sister, Claire, is an all-American at the University of Virginia. Teresa swims for the University of Florida.
Mr. Crippen resided at the family home in Conshohocken. His occupation, his mother said, was professional swimmer.
Mr. Crippen is survived by his parents, Peter and Patricia; sisters Claire, Madeleine, and Teresa; and his maternal grandparents, Francis and Regina Grandizio.