Sports Law • Risk Management

open water swimming

NYC Triathlon and Open Water Swims: A Sport of Extreme Sorts

Today as I was swimming laps, I experienced fluid buildup in my lungs. The fluid made it hard to catch my breath, but my stubbornness made it even more difficult to stop swimming before I was done with my set. Not being able to breathe, however, induced a bit of panic, which increased when I had a flash that the lifeguard, who had early been distracted flirting with a guy on the pool deck, might not be paying enough attention to me should I need rescued. At that moment, I recognized that I was responsible for my well-being and that I should not fully trust that someone else would save me, even if it was that person’s job to do so. With that acknowledgement, I stopped swimming until my throat cleared enough to finish my set. This experience left me contemplating about the recent deaths that occurred during the swim segment of the New York City (NYC) Triathlon and what the athletes may have experienced during the race.

October 23, 2010: U.S. National Swimmer Dies—Concerns about Hot Water Swimming

The United States lost a talented open water swimmer today. U.S. national team medal winner, Fran Crippen, died in the FINA Open Water 10 kilometer World Cup in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates today. The water temperature was unusually hot, in the high 80’s, causing several competitors to suffer from heat exhaustion. When Crippen did not finish the race, other swimmers returned to the water and found his body near the last buoy of the triangular course.