AUBURN, Alabama, February 14. SIX-time Olympic coach Richard Quick and Swim Across America (SAA) hosted the national cancer awareness and fund-raising event, Swim Quick, Saturday on the campus of Auburn University.
SAA is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds and awareness for cancer research, prevention and treatment through swimming-related events. Auburn served as one of four major "hubs" for the event.
SAA Executive Director Janel Jorgensen organized the event after learning of Quick's diagnosis of an inoperable brain tumor in December of 2008. The Olympic silver medalist swam for Quick at the 1988 Seoul Games and collegiately at Stanford.
"It was fantastic," said Jorgensen. "I think it really meant a lot to Richard."
"Finding a cure for any disease is important and we are so thankful to all those who helped this event take shape. We really appreciate everyone around the country coming together and donating to this extremely important cause. It's nice to have the ability to give back in any way you can."
Swim Quick kicked off at 9 a.m. CST with an introduction of coach Quick by John Asmuth. A long-time member of the Auburn swimming & diving family, Asmuth served as an assistant to Quick on his first Auburn team back in 1978.
Coach Quick then addressed the participants lining the deck. The five-time NCAA Coach of the Year thanked the crowd and SAA for their efforts and support.
"I am very appreciative for the number of people that are here and the cause this is all about," said Quick. "Not for me, but for other people around the world. I really mean that."
After all the participants completed their dedication swims, Quick joined the Auburn swimming and diving teams on the deck for a speech. Auburn senior Matt Targett was present.
"We had finished our swim and coach introduced Janel to us," recalled Targett. "He told us how she swam with so much courage and we should all inspire to do the same in the pool and in life.
"He told us he would be watching us at SECs and we all came together for the fight song. It was a real inspiring moment."
Special thanks to Auburn for contributing this report.