Pete Carroll Beats Will Ferrell In Challenge Swim Race
April 14, 2007
Pete Carroll beat Will Ferrell barely in the "Pete Vs. Will" Challenge at the 27th annual "Swim With Mike" swim-a-thon on Saturday (April 14) at the USC McDonald's Swim Stadium.
Carroll, the USC head football coach, had challenged USC alumnus Ferrell, the actor currently starring in "Blades of Glory," to a swimming race.
Carroll got off the blocks first in the up-and-back race, but the Speedo-clad, swimcap-wearing Ferrell nearly caught him by the turn as both used what they called a "power stroke" (freestyle). Both swimmers executed the flip turn at the wall and pushed home, with Carroll maintaining a slight edge. But halfway down the backstretch, Ferrell switched to a breaststroke and then to the butterfly as Carroll hit the wall first to win by more than a body length.
Following the Carroll-Ferrell race, the USC football teamwhich had just concluded a 64-play scrimmage as part of their final spring practice on adjacent Howard Jones Fieldswam a position-by-position relay race, aided by the USC Song Girls. The wide receiver unit was victorious
The "Swim With Mike" event raised $975,000 for the Physically Challenged Athletes Scholarship Fund at USC. Since 1981, $6.3 million has been raised to provide more than 60 scholarships to USC and 14 other universities from New York to Hawaii to athletes who have overcome life-challenging accidents or illnesses.
The "Swim" began in 1981 when friends and teammates of USC 3-time All-American swimmer Mike Nyeholt rallied to his aid to help him recover from a paralyzing motorcycle accident. What was to be a one-time event, "Swim For Mike," raised $58,000. At Nyeholt's suggestion, the excess donations were used to establish the Physically Challenged Athletes Scholarship Fund. The next year, Nyeholt joined other swimmers in the water helping raise money and the swim-a-thon became an annual event, which was renamed "Swim With Mike."