Athletes Show Hope Does Float

By Kaia Hedlund
Wednesday - April 21, 2010 Share

By Kaia Hedlund, Executive Director/Founder
Swim With Mike Hawaii

Swim With Mike Hawaii, a swim-a-thon fundraiser, is celebrating its sixth year in the Islands and invites the whole family to dive in and get wet for a great cause.

Originating at the University of Southern California in 1981 as a one-time fundraiser for Mike Nyeholt, a three-time All-American swimmer who became paralyzed from the chest down following a motorcycle accident earlier that year, Swim With Mike has become an annual fundraiser for the Physically Challenged Athletes Scholarship Fund. It provides scholarships to students who have overcome life-challenging accidents or illnesses.


Nearly $10 million has been raised over the past 30 years, providing 92 scholarship recipients tuition, fees and financial assistance to 34 universities throughout the nation.

At this year’s event, which takes place from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 24, at UH Manoa’s Duke Kahanamoku pool, scholarships will be awarded to three disabled athletes from Hawaii:

Mike Nyeholt (center, with ball) and athletes from Hawaii’s local colleges will award Joe Broc, Ann Yoshida (in chairs) and Tusi Mailo at this year’s

Mililani native Ann Yoshida is a graduate student in rehabilitation counseling and speech pathology at Utah State University. Ann became a paraplegic after a car accident; prior to her accident, she was active in multiple sports. Despite her disability, Ann is still an avid athlete.

Fulutusi Mailo, a North Shore native, was an all-state linebacker for Kahuku High School. After suffering a bodysurfing accident, Tusi was left paralyzed. He is currently pursuing his bachelor’s degree in mathematics at BYUH.

Joe Broc, a lifelong Sunset Beach resident and Kahuku High graduate, was born with spina bifida. His disability has not affected his vibrant spirit, and he has participated in multiple canoe clubs over the last decade. Joe is pursing a bachelor’s degree in marine sciences at HPU.


The UH Athletics Department will cosponsor the swim, and athletes from UH, BYUH, Chaminade and HPU will participate in entertaining relays. Event highlights will include a surfboard water polo match and a diving exhibition. You can swim, too, or just enjoy the festivities at this free event!

For more information, visit www.swimwithmike.org.


Hawaii charitable organizations may send requests for space in either Proof Positive or the free advertisement below to dchapman@midweek.com.

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