Swim With Mike 2015 Kicks Off|
March 31, 2015
To celebrate the landmark year of the annual Swim With Mike event, quarterback Cody Kessler and incoming freshman Jake Olson helped kick off the festivities a little bit early this past Thursday.
Swim With Mike raises money to offer college scholarships to physically challenged students across the country. The annual swim-a-thon originated at USC when friends of Trojan Mike Nyeholt sought to raise money to provide him with an adapted van. In the 35 years since, the money raised each year has gone to provide students scholarships to USC and 84 other universities.
At a luncheon to launch fundraising efforts in advance of the main event in April, Kessler and Olson hopped in the Uytengsu Aquatics Center pool to swim the first official lap. In attendance were all of the 2015 Swim With Mike scholarship recipients as well as many of the program's major donors.
Jake Olson has long been connected to USC. Fighting a 11-year battle with cancer which would ultimately leave him blind, one of Olson's wishes before losing his sight altogether was to witness one final USC football game when he was 12 years old.
Pete Carroll, the USC head coach at the time, quickly invited Olson into the Trojan Family, bringing him to practices, the locker room and games. Olson became an inspiration to many in the USC community and will now get to continue his Trojan journey as a recipient of one of the 2015 Swim With Mike scholarships.
Here are Kessler and Olson launching the 35th annual Swim With Mike swim-a-thon...