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Welcome to the Swim Across America – Atlanta Open Water Swim! Established in 2013, SAA – Atlanta has donated over $2.25 million to our beneficiary: Aflac Cancer & Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Thank you for your support of cancer care in Atlanta.

Each year we are proud to host over 1,000 swimmers and volunteers, spectators and supporters, as well as Olympians near and far at our charity swim. We are so excited to have you join us for our 9th annual swim on October 2nd at Lake Lanier Olympic Park!

Whether you are a veteran swimmer or you’re looking to do your first open water swim, we welcome you to help us “Make Waves to Fight Cancer.”

Swim Across America is dedicated to providing a safe return to events in 2021.

General Fundraising Requirements:

All swimmers are required to raise at least $400 by event day. Swimmers under 18 are required to raise $200 by event day.

WaveMaker Status: $1,000 minimum:

WaveMakers go above and beyond the call of duty by raising at least $1,000 regardless of your age. Anyone can achieve WaveMaker status – swimmers, volunteers or SAA My Way participants. WaveMakers get special recognition and an exclusive WM gift on event day. You can learn more about WaveMaker Status here.

Swim as an Individual, or on a Team

A person may elect to swim alone, or as part of a team. Many work colleagues, high schools, and college alumni will form teams, or teams may be formed in honor or memory of a loved one. Read here for team sponsor benefits and more information.

Team Sponsor Benefits:

Teams who raise or are sponsored at $10K or more by August 17th have access to the VIP Team Zone including a table and tent for a team meet up and hospitality area. The team is also eligible for team t-shirts. Please email Nicole Schwartz for more information. The Team Zone also includes snacks and refreshments.

Distance Options:

  • 0.5 Mile
  • 1.0 Mile
  • 5K

Registration Self-Donation:

Swimmers will be asked to kickstart your fundraising and let your supporters know you are personally committed to the mission of SAA. The registration self-donation is a 100% tax deductible donation that will be will be credited towards each swimmer’s fundraising minimum. The minimum self-donation amount will change as follows:

  • Register before July 2 with a registration fee of $50
  • Register between July 3 and September 3 with a registration fee of $75
  • Register after September 4 with a registration fee of $100

Online registration will close Wednesday, September 29th, 2021, at 12 midnight EST or as soon as the event is full. Claim your spot as soon as possible – we typically sell out every year!

Age Requirements:

Participants ages 12 and under who would like to sign up for the 1 mile or 5K swims are required to obtain a letter from their personal accredited coach (USA Swimming, ASCA, etc) verifying the swimmer is capable of swimming the chosen distance in open water. Submit the form here. If you would like some extra practice and a chance to get your feet wet, we have two open water swim clinics held on September 19th and 26th that you may attend. Please email Nancy Overheim to sign up or for more information.


All swimmers and volunteers must complete the waiver found here. Please read, sign and bring it with you to the event.

Swim Caps:

Every swimmer must wear the official SAA colored cap given to them at registration for their designated event. The caps are color coded based on the swim distance. You may not switch caps for a different color, for safety purposes.

Angel Swimmers:

For those people who are hesitant about swimming in the open water, we have “swim angels” who volunteer to swim alongside you for encouragement. These people are experienced open water swimmers who are more than happy to encourage you, keep an eye on you and support you during your swim. If you think you might benefit from having an angel swimmer assigned to you please make note of that in your registration. If you would like to volunteer to be an angel swimmer, please contact Malena Hankins.

2021 Return to Events Updates:

For three decades, Swim Across America has been committed to providing a safe environment for our charity activities. COVID-19 brings a new dimension as we create our safety protocols. Each of our charity swims will abide by local, state and national guidelines. COVID-19 will likely have some impact on our ability to offer the day of experience you’ve come to expect.

All participants and volunteers will be asked to follow safety procedures and policies. Participants are responsible for adequately preparing for their registered charity event. We ask that all participants review the information packet provided in advance and attend the day-of safety briefing if you are participating in our live experience.

We appreciate your understanding as we commit to creating the best possible environment for our participants, volunteers and community. Our Return to Events Updates can be found here. Please check this page for any changes.

SAA Safety & Policies:

Swim Across America makes participant safety the most important component of all our events. All swimmers will be asked to follow specific safety procedures and policies to participate, as well as comply with SAA safety personnel, including local and government entities, Lifeguards, and water safety volunteers. Participants are responsible for adequately preparing for their registered event. We ask that all participants review the information packet provided in advance of event day, as well as attend the day-of safety briefing for important safety information.

If you have questions about our policies regarding inclement weather, swim equipment or wetsuits, please consult our Policies page.


All swimmers and volunteers must complete the waiver found here.


Schedule is tentative and subject to change.

7:00 – 8:45 am: Swimmer Registration/Land Volunteer Check In (Note: Land volunteer assignments may require an earlier check in time. you will be notified by Alison Millsaps.)

7:30am-8:00 am: Olympian Autograph Session 1

8:00 am: Welcome Program

8:20 am: 5K Swimmer Safety Talk / Rookie Welcome / Why I Swim

8:30 am: 5K Swim Begins

9:20 am: 1 Mile Swimmer Safety Talk / Rookie Welcome / Why I Swim

9:30 am: 1 Mile Swim Begins

9:35 am: 1/2 Mile Swimmer Safety Talk

9:45 am: 1/2 Mile Swim Begins

11:00-11:30am: Olympian Autograph Session 2

11:30am : Event Concludes


North America

Distances Offered

under 1k





Swim Type


Water Type