Craig Dietz

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Craig Dietz
Craig Dietz
Craig Dietz
Craig Dietz
Craig Dietz (whose nickname is the Limbless Waterman) was born on 13 April 1974 and grew up in the rural town of St. Marys, Pennsylvania, United States. He is an open water swimmer whose longest swim to date is the 4.4-mile Great Chesapeake Bay Swim. He is also a motivational speaker who was the keynote speaker at the 2012 Global Open Water Swimming Conference in Long Beach, California. He also swam 5.1km at the Swim Across America Long Beach event on 23 September 2012 and the Midmar Mile in South Africa in 37:10 on 8 February 2013, and the Alcatraz Sharkfest Swim in San Francisco Bay on 19 May 2013.

Contents

2012 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year Nomination

Craig was nominated for the 2012 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year awards. His World Open Water Swimming Association nomination reads,

With one speech, Craig Dietz moved the world at the Global Open Water Swimming Conference. His delivery was so riveting; his message was so powerful; his courage was so compelling that race directors from around the world invited him to their events throughout Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas. He had luminaries of the sport breathless as he captivated them with his sense of mission, humility, humor, and hunger to succeed. When he swims, it is obvious that he is an athlete: undulating to reach his aquatic goals. He is fearless and bold. Born without arms and without legs, courage and creativity are part of his DNA. Dietz shows other how far drive and imagination can take us. His swims this year spanned America: 5 km at Swim Across America on the West Coast and 4.4 miles at the Great Chesapeake Bay Swim on the East Coast. For his depth of character, for his willingness to try to extend himself in the open water, for his charismatic personality that immediately creates fans and inspires wonder, Craig Dietz is a worthy nominee for the 2012 WOWSA Open Water Swimming Man of the Year.

Background

Despite being born without limbs, Dietz did normal activities with family and friends bowling, hunting, fishing, playing percussion in the school band and volleyball. His parents, two sisters and brother have always been extremely supportive of his activities throughout his life. His family was instrumental in getting him driving lessons and purchasing a van specially equipped for him to drive. Craig has lived independently since graduating from high school, and currently resides with his wife in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Education

Dietz graduated from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh in 1996, with a B.A. in political science. At Duquesne, he was involved with the Campus Ministry and a member of the Delta Chi Fraternity. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 1999 and passed the bar exam on his first attempt, without any special accommodations. Craig worked as an Assistant City Solicitor for the City of Harrisburg until 2006 when he took the same position with the City of Pittsburgh.

Open Water Swimming

Dietz always had a passion for swimming. But, it wasn't until 2008 that he decided to start training for open water swimming and completed the 1500-meter swim in the Pittsburgh Triathlon in 40:20. He completed the Pittsburgh Triathlon in 2009 and 2010, finishing the swim in 30:14 in 2010, faster than 140 able-bodied competitors. He also competed in multiple Half Iron Man Relays (1.2-mile swim) and 2-mile swim competitions. In 2011, he attempted the 4.4-mile Great Chesapeake Bay Swim, but he was pulled out after 3.5 miles when lightening started to strike. In 2012, he completed the Great Chesapeake Bay Swim.

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