Craig Dietz was born in 1974, in the rural town of St. Marys, PA. Despite being born without limbs, Craig had a very active childhood, bowling in a league, hunting, fishing, playing percussion in the high school band, and graduating high school on the honor society.
Craig graduated from Duquesne University, in Pittsburgh, in 1996, with a B.A. in Political Science. While at Duquesne, he was very active 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 PA Bar Exam on his first attempt without any special accommodations. Craig worked as an Assistant City Solicitor for the City of Harrisburg from 2000 - 2006. From 2006 -2010, Craig worked as a litigation attorney for the City of Pittsburgh.
In addition to bowling, hunting, fishing, skiing and playing volleyball, Craig always had a passion for swimming. But it wasn’t until 2008 that he decided to start training for long distance open water swimming and finished the 1500 meter Allegheny River swim in 40:20 as part of a relay team in the Pittsburgh Triathlon. That one race was all it took for Craig to become hooked on the competition of triathlon and open water swimming.
Craig has competed in the Pittsburgh Triathlon every year since 2008. In 2012, he finished the swim in 29:14, faster than more than 150 able-bodied competitors. Also in 2012, Craig became the first quadruple amputee to swim across the Chesapeake Bay, finishing the 4.4 mile rough water swim in just under 3 hours. In 2013 Craig competed in the Midmar Mile swim in South Africa and finished a 1.5 mile “escape” from Alcatraz swim in 54:37. Craig continues to enjoy competitive swimming and has set his next goal at completing a 10k open water swim.
Craig’s parents, two sisters and brother have been extremely supportive of all his activities throughout his life. His family was particularly instrumental in getting driving lessons for him and purchasing a van equipped for him to drive. Craig has lived independently since graduating from high school, and currently resides in Harrisburg, PA, with his wife, Christy and their dog, Rocco.
Craig’s story has been featured on the Marie Osmond Show, Fox News, ESPN’s television show E:60, as well as ESPN The Magazine and several local print and television news media outlets. For over 6 years, Craig has been challenging and inspiring audiences with his life story of perseverance, and his unique blend of humor and candor.