By Alex Meyer Alex Meyer is an American open water swimmer who represented the U.S. at the 2012 London Olympics and won gold in the 25-kilometer race at the 2010 world championships. Outside of competition, he has also been a strong advocate in calls for reform in the sport after the 2010 death of close friend and teammate of Fran Crippen. Meyer helped search for Crippen the day he drowned after suffering from heat exhaustion during that competition in the United Arab Emirates.
Now, with the World Cup returning to the UAE on Friday, Meyer weighs in to ESPN.com about his concerns surrounding the race and why further safety measures are needed moving forward.
In October 2010, a dear teammate and friend to many, Fran Crippen, died in deplorable conditions during a FINA 10km World Cup race in the United Arab Emirates. Recently, FINA reinstated that same race, to be held in Abu Dhabi just 150 miles from the 2010 venue, and under the supervision of the same race director.
Many people -- friends, journalists, fellow Twitterers -- have asked me what my thoughts are on the upcoming FINA World Cup race, a race where U.S. swimmers have unanimously chosen not to participate. This contentious issue has deservedly been gaining traction in the American sports media and is starting to spread around the world (I was contacted by a German journalist this week). The articles have varied in their stance and tone, and I feel the need to sum up where I stand.