LOS ANGELES, California. March 6. THE annual Swim With Mike event focuses on raising valuable funds from the swimming community for physically challenged athletes. Inspired by world-class swimmer Mike Nyeholt whose promising career was cut short by a motorcycle accident, the program has thrived and allowed many to led successful, independent lives in spite of paralysis, amputation and blindness.
Going into its fourth decade, the 2012 Swim With MikeSwim With Mike will culminate with a celebration on April 14th at the McDonalds Swim Stadium at the University of Southern California. Donors and participants can train with world champions and Olympic heroes in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games pool.
The first swimmers who raise US$1000 for the program will have the opportunity to train with the Trojan Swim Club where Olympic gold medalists Rebecca Soni (USA), Ous Mellouli (Tunisia) and Kosuki Kitajima (Japan), who have won a total of 11 Olympic medals among themselves, as well as world record holder Jessica Hardy. The swimmers will also receive personal coaching by American Swimming Coaches Hall of Fame, three-time Olympic Coach Dave Salo.
For US$100 raised, swimmers can join in a workout led by multi-time Olympic coach Peter Daland and participate in the Olympian Swim Clinic aimed at masters swimmers, competitive age group swimmers, triathletes and open water swimmers where past clinicians have included Olympic Gold Medalists: Janet Evans, Bruce Furniss, Lenny Krayzelburg, Ous Mellouli, John Naber, Rebecca Soni, and Coaches Peter Daland, Mark Schubert and Dave Salo.
The 32nd annual Swim With Mike is a day-long extravaganza with a silent auction, barbeque for Swimmers, dive show, belly flop contest and live entertainment.
Since 1981, Swim With Mike has given 119 scholarships for physically challenged athletes at 54 colleges across the USA. Board member Kaia Hedlund explains the mission, “Swim With Mike provides financial resources for advanced education that pave the way for physically challenged athletes to overcome their tragedies and realize their full potential. US$12,138,130 has been raised since its inception. Last year, a total of US$796,000 was awarded to 50 athletes at 27 universities with 116 current scholarship recipients are studying across the U.S. in 49 different schools..”
The community consists of hundreds of dedicated volunteers, swimmers, sponsors and donors from 47 different American states and international who are helping athletes currently attending 27 universities who are overcoming life-challenging accidents or illnesses on a daily basis. Its alumni include 66 recipients who are doctors, lawyers, engineers, actors and teachers.
The generosity of all involved is inspirational and the daily efforts supported by the scholarship are even more so.
Courtesy Open Water Source