On Sunday, swimmers will gather at Sanders Beach on Lake Coeur d’Alene for an event honoring the memory of a local athlete who died in 1994.
The Steve Omi Open Water Memorial Swim has been held every year since the death of its namesake. Omi was an athlete and Masters swimmer who died of cancer at age 36.
The event has grown steadily since it was first held in 1994 by friends who sought to remember him. Last year, 141 swimmers competed in the one-mile course.
Proceeds from registration fees and donations go to a scholarship fund for a high school senior who intends to swim competitively in college. The scholarship ranges from $250 to $750.
“We look for a well-rounded person just like Steve was,” said Maidy Kress, who used to swim with Omi and is on the event board of Steve Omi Inc.
Omi was known for his sense of humor, leadership skills and accomplishments, Kress said. She has participated in the swim since its inception.
Kress said the event is competitive because swimmers by their nature are competitive. But the morning will be focused on remembering Omi and having a good time.
“We don’t call it a race per se. We call it a swim because it’s more about the scholarship and the event,” Kress said.
The course begins and ends at the 12th Street entry to Sanders Beach. Check-in is at 8:30 a.m. and the race begins at 9:30 a.m.
Registration is $15, or $25 with a chamois sports towel. Race day registration is $3 more.
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