A 26-year-old member of the U.S. national swimming team died during an open-water race in the United Arab Emirates Saturday, according to event officials.

Fran Crippen died during the last leg of the 10-kilometer Marathon Swimming World Cup in Fujairah, said the International Swimming Federation, or FINA. The cause of death is under investigation, FINA said. Swimming World magazine reported that Crippen fell unconscious during the event and was found by deep-sea divers two hours later near the race's final buoy.

The U.S. Olympic Committee issued a statement Saturday saying it was "extremely saddened" to learn of Crippen's death. Crippen won bronze in the 10-kilometer event at the 2009 FINA World Championships and was the gold medalist in the same event at the 2007 Pan American Games, according to USA Swimming.

Crippen graduated in 2006 from the University of Virginia, where he was twice named Atlantic Coast Conference Swimmer of the Year.


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