The Ripple Effect

The impact of one person makes waves.

The Swim with Mike Foundation changes the lives of many
by spreading hope, inspiring courage, and providing the
gift of education to physically challenged athletes.

Join the team today!

Join Us!

At the 43rd Annual
Swim With Mike

Harnessing the Power of the Ripple Effect


Our commitment to physically challenged athletes is to ensure that these individuals have the resources and support to thrive, and have an equitable and promising future. Our differences are our strengths, and together, we impact many.

After a dirt-biking accident left All-American swimmer Mike Nyeholt paralyzed in 1981, Swim With Mike Foundation co-founders Mike and Ron turned tragedy into triumph. Together, with the help of fellow USC swimming teammates and generous donors, they have changed the lives of 282 scholarship recipients who have attended 148 universities across 47 states nationwide since Swim With Mike’s inception.

Mission Statement

“The mission of Swim with Mike Foundation is to change the lives of student athletes who have experienced catastrophic injury or illness by providing scholarships, creating community and instilling hope and purpose.”

A drop, a ripple, a wave—join us, you can literally change a life. Together, we can do so much.
                                                                                          -Ron Orr

"Swim with Mike has helped me to pursue both my education and athletic career."

avery downing
university of alabama '22
meet the current scholars

The Class of 2023-2024

Tragedy is not what defines lives, it is the hope, inspiration, and competitive spirit that define the scholarship recipients in the Swim with Mike Foundation family. Each of our scholarship recipients are on a journey to reach their full potential by pursuing their professional passions, athleticism, and personal goals through the university experience.

Recipient Stories

Building the Wave of Impact Nationwide


A ripple in the pool by one swimmer magnifies to a wave with a team. The wave of impact the Swim with Mike Foundation has built through the help of donors, volunteers, and alumni recipients over 40 years offers a unique opportunity for physically challenged student-athletes to join a family of support while pursuing education and recreating a future after life-altering accident or illness.

Creating a difference in one life impacts all of those around that person: family, friends, and teammates. The Ripple Effect magnifies as the outreach grows.

join the movement

Donate to the Cause

The gift of education offers physically challenged student-athletes a unique opportunity to start a fresh chapter in their lives. Often light comes after adversity, and your gift illuminates
a path forward.
Make a donation today!

Donate Now

Apply for a Scholarship

Education empowers recipients to achieve self-sufficiency and to define and refocus their lives. We encourage student-athletes who have experienced catastrophic injury or illness to apply for a scholarship, and join the Swim with Mike community.


Start a Fundraising Campaign

Create a wave of support by building your own campaign. Recruit and inspire others to join you to magnify the impact of the Ripple Effect. Start with an idea, spread the word, and change a life!


See the impact we’ve made together











In The News

1880 Capital Golf Tournament to benefit Swim with Mike Foundation

Join special guest and former Swim with Mike scholarship recipient, Jake Olson, at the 1880 Capital Inaugural Golf Classic benefitting the Swim with Mike Foundation. The classic will be held Friday, November 3, 2023 at the Black Gold Golf Club in Yorba Linda, CA.

The 42nd Annual Yearbook Celebrates The Ripple Effect!

Swim With Mike's annual publication, The Yearbook, celebrates the Swim With Mike Family and the work of the foundation. This year we celebrate our 42nd year! Current and alumni scholarship recipients are featured demonstrating the impact Swim With Mike has had on their lives. We invite you to take a closer look at how the Ripple Effect has evolved over the past 42 years.

Swim With Mike Celebrates 42 years!

42 years ago on March 7, 1981, the first-ever "Swim For Mike" was held. The following year, the event was renamed Swim With Mike, and the rest is history! The Ripple Effect has expanded nationwide, offering scholarships to 282 physically challenged athletes attending 148 colleges across 47 states. In the pool, one swimmer creates a ripple and a team makes waves. We wish to thank our generous friends and supporters of Swim With Mike. Thank you for making waves!