PHOENIX, Arizona, November 5. YOU'VE found the McCaffreyCap and we're glad you did. This week in the rundown, we're talking old school comeback, Michael Phelps slinging hot tubs in Las Vegas, as well as a short tribute to the inspiring life of Fran Crippen.
Take your mark.
The big buzz around the deck this week was the talk of comebacks. Over the past couple months Swimming World has reported on the comebacks of Libby Trickett, Laure Manadou, and this week 39-year-old Janet Evans. Well the McCaffreyCap would like to break the story on the most recent Olympian making his way back to the pool. Last week I was visiting Curl Burke collecting workout videos and other content that you'll be able to see shortly here on SwimmingWorld.TV, when I came across the most recent Olympian on the comeback trail.
It was the first time I had the pleasure of meeting the two-time Olympic medalist, and you can watch the full interview with Ed Moses on Split Time right now!
With all these comebacks, I want to know who's next? Which Olympians would you like to see make a run at 2012? I want to put my vote in for Mel Stewart.
Bring that crazy back Mel! We're going to take a quick break, but we'll be right back after a word from our sponsor.
This week in Las Vegas, Michael Phelps unveiled his latest endorsement, the Michael Phelps Signature Swim Spas by Master Spas. These first two pics are of the MP Signature model spa aimed at getting "everyone interested in swimming." This third picture showcases another model in the line of spas, and I believe this one is of the Hot Tub Time Machine genre, and it also covers our weekly feature on how National Team Head Coach Mark Schubert is spending his "Leave of Absence." That smile on Michael's face must be because they took the hot tub time machine back to the US Open in 1991, just after the 200 butterfly.
Bring it back Mel. Please bring back the crazy!
All joking aside for the last item on the rundown.
I was very fortunate to be on the East Coast last week, because I was able to make it to Conshohocken, Pa., on Saturday and attend Fran Crippen's funeral service. When I arrived at St. Matthew's an hour early, there was already a line of people, four wide, around the building.
I was lucky to get a seat in the school auditorium next to the church where the service was projected onto a screen. By the time the Mass started it was standing-room only in both the church and the auditorium. It was far and away the most people I had ever seen at a funeral, and it was a very fitting audience for one of the greatest people our sport will ever know.
It was easy to understand why so many people were affected by his death, because everyone he met he impacted. The eulogies spoke of a fierce competitor, a loving friend, brother and son, and one of those rare people who had the ability to make everyone he spoke to feel like the most important person in the world.
As therapeutic as it was to celebrate the wonderful life of Fran Crippen, it was tough not to think how unfair it was that this great life was cut short. Fran was the ultimate competitor at the peak of fitness and there is no excuse for one of the best swimmers in the world to drown in competition.
It just didn't make sense. For the week following his death all I could think was, it's just not right. The world needs great men like Fran.
Right now, there is no rationalization. It was a great life inexcusably cut short. The only way this tragedy could possibly make any sense, is if all the people out there who have been touched by Fran and his story take responsibility to make sure that this never happens again. Fran's life has to continue to inspire people. It has to change the sport. It has to protect future athletes. Fran Crippen was an inspiration, and I believe he would be proud to know his legacy will protect the future of the sport he loved.
We'll stop the clock right there on this week's show, and remember that's just one man's recap.