Geronimo-ney! —Swim with Mike 2016 at USC raises over a million dollars for physically-challenged athletes, thanks in part to the bighearted USC Song Girls, who dived into the pool for this praiseworthy charity
Welcome to the annual bury-the-rivalry-hatchet week, as I put aside my allegiances to praise the efforts of the Swim with Mike charity, and all the people at USC who contributed to putting on this fundraiser and making it a raging, 7-figure success. It’s easy to temporarily suspend my die-hard loyalties when it involves all the lovely Trojan cheerleaders, who, as always, were real troopers, donning bikinis in front of a big crowd of people and photographers, and jumping in the pool for an innertube relay race, in which they partner up with Trojan football players.
There was another reason to throw my full support behind this worthy cause this year: Former UCLA Bruin Football player Nick Ekbatani — who underwent a leg amputation after a horrible motorcycle accident — is one of the recipients of the Swim with Mike scholarship funding. Nick attended USC grad school, with the help of this charity. After his unbearable ordeal, Nick has found inspiration, and now is a motivational speaker, in order to share his overwhelmingly positive attitude and perspective on life. The Swim with Mike charity was instrumental in Nick’s development into the admirable human being he is today.
Although this event takes place at USC and has thoroughly Trojan roots (“Mike” was a Trojan), the cause helps athletes who have attended over 50 other schools as well, including UCLA. BUT… even if it were all for USC, this would STILL be a worthy cause, and I would still support it. I recommend that you support it too. And just because the event took place on Saturday, it doesn’t mean you can’t make a donation today. Please go to swimwithmike.org and look into how you can help. After viewing these 67 photos below, you may suddenly find yourself feeling charitable.
So without further ado, here are some more photos from the event, with lots more coming soon. Click on the photos to enlarge them — especially the horizontal ones, which should each fill your widescreen monitor when you click on them.