By: Jen Russon
A Coral Springs teen who dreamed of swimming in the Olympics, and earned a scholarship in the sport before he died, will be honored in March at a mile-long ocean swim.
Nicholas Dworet was killed on February 14, 2018, along with 16 others when a gunman opened fire at the Parkland, Florida high school.
To honor his memory, The Swim with Nick event, presented by Victory Sports Management, will host a one-mile ocean swim open to everyone — notably middle and high school swimmers who wish to improve in the activity Nick Dworet loved most: competitive swimming.
Event organizer Danny Howard said he anticipates as many as 400 swimmers at Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park, and that he has enjoyed working with Nick’s family these past couple months.
“The event was scheduled on the Saturday closest to what would have been Nick’s 20th birthday,” said Howard, adding the swim is open to all levels of swimmers.
Victory Sports Management will provide swimmers with water, bagels, fruit, and sunscreen — compliments of a dermatologist who lost his son to skin cancer.
The company confirmed 20 lifeguards would be on hand to look out for swimmers, and that every tenth of a mile, two boats will follow them as they advance toward the finish line.
Howard added Swim with Nick will have a 100-yard instructional swim and beach clean-up for those who wish to be part of the event, but don’t think they are up to a one-mile swim.
Of those who are up to swimming their hearts out is Nick’s mother, Annika, who said she has been practicing in the pool for weeks. She will swim the complete mile with start and finish lines located at the Hideout restaurant, nestled in Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park.
Nick’s father, Mitch, and brother, Alex, will be rooting from the sidelines, looking for that swim cap emblazoned with “Swim 4 Nick” that belongs to Swedish born Annika, who is herself an athlete.
“I’m a runner, and Annika is a cyclist,” said Mitch. “Before Nick was taken from us, we had planned to do a triathlon together. My family still plans to, and I think this event will be great practice.”
The proud father elaborated the International Swimming Hall of Fame is planning to dedicate their 56th annual Honoree Induction Ceremony to the late Marjory Stoneman Douglas senior.
Choosing not to dwell in sorrow, and instead celebrate Nick’s life, the Dworet’s founded Swim 4 Nick shortly after their son’s death, and use the proceeds to offer scholarships for seniors who want to swim in college; host swim clinics to provide instruction and financial access to needy families that need access to swim lessons.
“This ocean swim is more about training as hard as you can in and out of the water than it is about a timed race. Nick thrived in competition, but was humble, win or lose,” said his parents.
Registration is $40—register online or in-person at Swim with Nick, beginning at 8 a.m. Dri-Fit event Shirts and custom finish medals are guaranteed to the first 300 who register. All participants will receive a swim bib with timing chip, custom finisher medal, event shirt, and event goodie bag.
The Swim with Nick event will be held on Saturday, March 21, from 9:00 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 6503 N. Ocean Drive in Dania Beach. Pre-Race packet pickup is on March 19.
- Jen Russon is a freelance writer and English Language Arts teacher. She has published two novels to Amazon Kindle and lives in Coral Springs with her family.
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