NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – After 35 years and over $100 million raised, Swim Across America is having its first-ever Nashville event.

It has taken years of smaller successful events, a general excitement and two instrumental women to finally make an event like this happen.

From five years old, to five-time Olympic gold medalists, this is an event for all swimmers.

“It means so much to me to bring something like Swim Across America that has been in my life for so long to my new home,” said 5-time Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin. “I have already felt Nashville just embrace us and I know it’s going to embrace this and it’s such an amazing event for such an amazing cause.”

Even if you haven’t represented your country on a world stage, don’t be afraid to jump in.

“That’s actually the thing, everybody gets intimidated, like, “oh my God, I can’t swim. I can do maybe a 25 (meter),” but no, it’s really for anybody,” said Chris McPherson, the event director for SAA Nashville.

And, the cause effects everybody.

“Everybody’s impacted by cancer. If it’s not someone in your family, it’s a good friend or somebody you know and I think everyone wants there to be a cure for cancer,” said McPherson.

Participants write the names of friends and family who are battling cancer on their back as a reminder of who they’re swimming for.

“I feel like it’s a cause that just touches everyone,” said Franklin. “Everyone knows someone that has cancer. My dad had prostate cancer, he’s in full recovery, but it hits us all. So to participate in something where you’re giving back to so many people, it’s so important and through doing it in a fun way that brings us all together, which I think is something that we all need especially after the last couple of years, it’s just so special.”

This year’s event is to raise money for the Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center.

To learn more about Swim Across America Nashville and get involved, click on this link.