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October 6, 2011

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Former Virginia swimmer and current United States national team member Matt McLean is the inaugural male recipient of the Fran Crippen Elevation Foundation’s “Work the Dream” grant, the organization has announced.

“Any time you can be associated with Fran’s name it is a huge honor, just because of how amazing he was in every aspect of his life,” McLean said. “It is a huge honor to receive this grant; I was really thrilled.”

In the year leading up to the Olympic Games, the Fran Crippen Elevation Foundation awarded grants to a male and female swimmer who embody athletes in pursuit of Olympic dreams. Former Duke swimmer Ashley Twichell was the female recipient.

McLean finished his career at Virginia (2008-11) as a 17-time ACC champion and 15-time All-American. He closed his remarkable collegiate career as the 2011 NCAA champion in the 500-yard freestyle and was twice named the ACC swimmer of the year.

McLean, who relocated to southern California to continue training for the Olympic Trials, won gold in the 200-meter freestyle and as a member of the 800-meter freestyle at the 2011 World University Games in China. He also claimed the national title in the 400-meter freestyle at the ConocoPhillips National Championships at Stanford in August.

“Training has been going really well but at this point I am pretty beat up,” McLean continued. “Luckily I have great training partners and great coaches out here who get me through it. I’m just trying to stay focused even though I am really fatigued.”

The Fran Crippen Elevation Foundation is a non-profit organization created to support athletes who exemplify the principles of former Virginia swimmer Fran Crippen, a member of the USA Swimming national team who tragically passed away during an open water swimming competition last year. Crippen was a loyal ambassador of sport, fair play, and humanitarian goodwill. He positively impacted this world by embodying what is best in international athletic competition.

Crippen swam at Virginia from 2003-06 and finished his collegiate career as an 11-time All-American and two-time ACC swimmer of the year.

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