View Full Version : Namesnik

Sam Perry
January 9th, 2006, 10:41 PM
I am sure many of you have heard about this already, but one of the true great guys in our sport is was in a horrible accident on Saturday. Please keep him, his wife and kids in your prayers...


January 11th, 2006, 08:54 AM
Eric "Snik" has been pronounced brain dead. He donated his organs and will be taken off all support. We...in Ann Arbor...are terrribly saddened by this loss....as I'm sure is the whole swimming community. There were over 50 pages of messages on a website set up by his wife where you could send in a message to Eric and his family.....some were written by his age groupers, some by his fellow Olympians, some by friends in Europe...and one by me.

Sally Guthrie

January 11th, 2006, 12:08 PM
This is very sad. What a fantastic swimmer, competitor, and from all accounts friend, husband, and father.

January 11th, 2006, 02:51 PM
The URL for that message/condolance board is:


Exceptionally sad and heartbreaking.


January 11th, 2006, 04:46 PM
Unfortunately he did not make it.


Frank Thompson
January 11th, 2006, 06:59 PM
Today the world swimming community lost one of the great swimmers of all time. Erik Namesnik has to be considered one of the greatest IM swimmers of all time. His competitions with Dave Wharton, Tamas Darnyi, and Tom Dolan have to be considered some of the most exciting swimming in the history of the IM. Considering he almost made the 1988 Olympic Team from nowhere still in high school to qualifying and representing the USA in both 1992 and 1996 Olympics will attest to that.

In both of the Olympics that he swam the 400 IM he was considered the underdog with hardly chance to win. In 1992, he swam against Tamas Darnyi, who was unbeatable for 8 years at major championships and was the world record holder with a time of 4:12.36 which at that time was about 3 seconds faster than Eric had ever swam. Eric swam the race of his life and was even with Darnyi for 300 meters and was overtaken in the last 50 and lost by 1.34 seconds. Darnyi's split on the last 100 was an incredible :57.60 which was as fast as some of the 1992 finalists in the 400 Free.

In 1993, the US Open was held at the University of Michigan's Canham Natatorium. It was the first time the event was held in a Short Course Meters format. I was lucky enough to be there and witness Eric break the old American and US Open record in the 400 IM held by Jeff Kostoff back in 1986 with a time of 4:14.29. Everyone knew that night that he could break this because he was almost as fast with his long course time. With the crowd and the announcer screaming he broke the record by .04 with a time of 4:14.25 setting the record unshaved and untapered. I remember he was interviewed by the retired Dara Torres for TV after the swam and got a standing ovation from the crowd.

In 1996, he swam against Tom Dolan and the race was almost an exact duplicate of 1992 with Tom Dolan winning a close one on the free leg and Eric lost by .35 seconds. If he would have won this race it would have been considered a major upset at the start of the games in Atlanta. But considering his best time of 4:13.67 which was only 1.37 seconds slower than Dolan's best, it would not have been the upset of the magnitude of beating Darnyi.

Eric will always be remembered for his swimming, coaching and kindness. This Sunday, there will be a masters meet at Canham Natatorium and before the start of the meet, we will have a moment of silence in memory of Eric.