One of the best things about the swim community is just that. It’s an amazing community! We’re close-knit with camaraderie between swimmers, swim parents, coaches and officials.
A prime example of community happened this weekend. My daughter flew to Florida for USA Swimming’s Open Water 5K swim.
She swam with her coach and teammate in the Crippen Sunset Mile, a tribute to Fran Crippen, a distance swimmer and seven-time medalist. He died during a race in the UAE in 2006 at the age of 26. You can find out more about his life, foundation and impact he’s had at the Fran Crippen Elevation Foundation.
“Fran believed that sport has the power to transcend barriers, both those between people and those within oneself. No dream was too big for Fran, and he believed that there was no barrier that could not be overcome. That legacy continues with members of Team Fran all over the world.” –Fran Crippen Elevation Foundation.
My husband and I stayed home and didn’t go. Why? I have no idea.The location for the Open Water Festival looked beyond gorgeous, and we love watching our daughter swim. The only upside? We cleaned our garage–which was way overdue.
Here’s where our swim community came into play. We didn’t hear much from our daughter, but we had Ref Paul to keep us up to date. Yes, an official from our very own SoCalSwimming and Eastern Committee was clear across the country in Florida officiating. Paul kept an eye and camera out for us. He made our weekend complete with photos, videos, and stroke-by-stroke updates. Our daughter loved having her teammate and coach with her–plus an official who’s been at her meets since early childhood.
In this community of swimming, it’s truly a small world–a supportive, caring and fun world!
Photos from Paul Szuszkiewicz
It was my honor to represent Southern California Swimming Officials at the Open Water Nationals held at the Miramar Lakes Country Club in Fort Myers Florida. Joining other Open Water Officials from thru out the United States. We were there to observe some of best Open Water Swimmers in the World leading into this year’s Olympics in Rio. Even though there were swimmers from all over the world I heard many as Elizabeth stated it is just like one big family. It was a pleasure watching one of our own local ladies proudly competing at the highest level. Look for video coverage on the USA Swimming website and Youtube.
Thanks again, Paul! We appreciate your photos, videos, and knowing you were there.
Hope your daughter had a great race. I am laughing that you stayed home and cleaned your garage !! Looked like a beautiful spot.
Thanks, Michelle. I don’t know what we were thinking about by missing that meet!