Working the Dream – 10 Years Later

Submitted by Madeleine Crippen. Madeleine, Fran, and two other siblings, Claire and Teresa, were raised in Conshohocken by Patricia and Peter Crippen.

My family started the Fran Crippen Elevation Foundation to continue the legacy left by my brother, Fran Crippen. Fran was a national-champion swimmer who lost his life competing for the United States in a FINA World Cup race in the United Arab Emirates. He was a loyal ambassador of sport, fair play, and humanitarian goodwill – and just an all-around cool guy. We created the FCEF to keep those attributes alive by supporting elite swimmers as they work towards Olympic glory and advocating for safe and fair competitive environments.

The ten-year anniversary of Fran’s death has allowed me to reflect on the history of the FCEF and the power of its mission. The Foundation’s initial years were driven by the memory of Fran. It gave us moments to remember Fran and the joy he brought the world. As time moves further away from his death, we still feel the power in those moments.

We understand his memory cannot drive the Foundation for the next ten years. Our goal is to evolve the FCEF’s mission to create space for us to have a tangible impact in our community:  

  • Water Safety: Improve access to swim lessons and decrease risks of drowning for people in our communities.
  • Athlete Support: Continue to support athletes through the FCEF grant, given to one elite athlete each year training for the Olympics.

Fran’s communities – namely Philadelphia, Charlottesville, Mission Viejo, and a great collection of swimmers and swim teams around the world – have been our donors. They are our family’s friends, neighbors, and fellow athletes, their support has been inspirational to us. 2020 has been a year of change for many of us. Our goal at the FCEF is to accept that change, and channel it into purposeful and impactful actions, much like we did with our grief in 2010. Please consider donating here to support our goals and keep the foundation thriving.