Swimmers Host Swim-with-Mike Rally|
April 14, 1998
LOS ANGELES--Hundreds of participants--including sports celebrities such as Tommy Lasorda, members of the USC football team and WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks, and Olympic swim greats Janet Evans and John Naber--will take to the water at the USC McDonald's Swim Stadium this Saturday (April 18) from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the 18th annual "Swim With Mike" swim-a-thon in hopes of raising more than $200,000 for USC's Physically Challenged Athletes Scholarship Fund.
There will be a swim clinic beginning at 10 a.m., featuring Olympic gold medalists Bruce Furniss, Brad Bridgewater and Kristine Quance, along with Evans and Naber, plus legendary Olympic and USC swim coaches Peter Daland and Mark Schubert.
Also, there will be live music performances, including an appearance by the Trojan Marching Band, an afternoon barbeque, and a Kid's Corner, featuring a visit from Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Philanthropist Wallis Annenberg will be presented with the President and Mrs. Gerald Ford "People Helping People Award" in recognition of her community service.
The swim-a-thon began in 1981 when friends and teammates of 3-time USC All-American swimmer Mike Nyeholt rallied to his aid to help him recover from a paralyzing motorcyle accident. Originally called "Swim For Mike," that first swim raised $58,000.
At Nyeholt's suggestion, the excess donations from the first-year's event were used to establish the Physically Challenged Athletes Scholarship Fund at USC. The Fund helps other athletes overcome physically disabling injuries or illnesses by allowing them to pursue their dreams of returning to school.
The year after his accident, Nyeholt joined other swimmers in the pool and the annual event was appropriately renamed "Swim With Mike." In its first 17 years, 30 physically challenged athletes have benefitted from the $1.8 million in contributions.