Eric John Namesnik (August 7, 1970 – January 11, 2006), nicknamed "Snik," was an American competition swimmer and Olympic medalist.
|Full name||Eric John Namesnik|
|Born||August 7, 1970|
|Died||January 11, 2006 35) (aged|
|Height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Weight||172 lb (78 kg)|
|College team||University of Michigan|
Namesnik was born and raised in the town of Butler, Pennsylvania, and swam for the Butler YMCA Swim team while he was growing up. After high school, he attended the University of Michigan, and swam for coach Jon Urbanchek's Michigan Wolverines swimming and diving team from 1989 to 1993. He later spent seven years as an assistant with the men's team there under Urbanchek. He then was a volunteer assistant coach at Eastern Michigan University for two years before his death and was a coach for Wolverine Aquatics in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Namesnik represented the United States at two consecutive Olympic Games. At the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, he received his first Olympic medal, a silver, for his second-place performance in the men's 400-meter individual medley (4:15.57). Four years later at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, he again finished second and received a silver medal in his signature event, the men's 400-meter individual medley (4:15.25).
He also won a bronze medal in the 400-meter individual medley at the 1994 world championships, and two silvers at the 1991 world meet. He set a new American record in the 400-meter individual medley on four different occasions.
He died on January 11, 2006 from injuries sustained in a car accident the prior week. He was critically injured in the January 7, 2006 accident that occurred when he attempted to pass another vehicle on an ice-covered road in Pittsfield Township, Michigan. He was survived by his wife, former swimmer Kirsten Silvester from the Netherlands, and their two children, Austin and Madison. His former club team, Club Wolverine, hosts the Namesnik Memorial Grand Prix every spring in his honor.
Namesnik is memorialized with a statue outside of the Butler County YMCA, along with his childhood coach John "Pump" McLaughlin.