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William E. Simon
Olympic Endowment
for the Support of Athletes

The William E. Simon Olympic Endowment for the Support of Athletes was established in 1998 by William E. Simon, Sr., former United States Olympic Committee president and U.S. Secretary of the Treasury. Grants for training and competition are awarded to athletes showing financial need. By creating this fund, Simon recognized the importance and many personal benefits of participating in sports. Grants are intended for training and competition expenses.

Athletes are generally eligible for an award if the athlete: has U.S. citizenship and is eligible/intend to compete for the United States; is currently in training and competition; and/or has demonstrated financial need in order to continue training. Preference is given to athletes who receive minimal or no support from the USOC, U.S. Paralympics or National Governing Body/High Performance Management Organization. Preference is also given to athletes who have not made a previous U.S. Olympic or Paralympic Team.

Awards are made once a year. However, the application process for 2014 is closed and information the 2015 William E. Simon Olympic Endowment is not yet available. Endowed funds are invested by the U.S. Olympic Endowment. General responsibility for management of the endowment, including final award decisions, resides with a Board of Trustees.

An award will be paid in two installments. If selected, the applicant will receive a notification letter and half of the award will be processed when a W-9 is received by the USOC. In addition to an acknowledgement to the Trustees, the athlete will be asked to submit a progress report later in the grant year, describing achievements in training and competition before the second payment will be processed. Awards will be made payable only to the applicant. Because awards may impact athlete eligibility for high school or collegiate athletics, applicants should verify, before applying, whether winning such an award would jeopardize eligibility.

Questions can be emailed to to simon.grant@usoc.org.

Additional information

What can the grant be used for? Grants are intended for training and competition expenses.

Are the grants sufficient to pay all training and competition costs? Because training and competition costs vary widely, these grants are intended to provide only partial support.

Can grants be received more than once? While this is possible, multiple grants to a single individual would be rare. The Trustees would like to help as many athletes as possible.

Who is eligible? General athlete eligibility requirements:

  • U.S. citizenship and eligible/intend to compete for the United States
  • Currently in training and competition
  • Demonstrated financial need in order to continue training

Preference will be given to athletes who receive minimal or no support from the USOC, U.S. Paralympics or National Governing Body/High Performance Management Organization. Preference is also given to athletes who have not made a previous U.S. Olympic or Paralympic Team.

What are the chances of receiving a grant? The chances of receiving a grant depend on the number of applications; however, the Trustees have complete discretion in selecting grant recipients and award amounts.

If a grant is awarded, how much can an athlete expect to receive? The endowment does not have a set grant amount. The endowment funds are invested, and a portion of the earnings is used for awards. Amounts will vary depending on available funds in a given year, the number of qualified applicants, and the meritorious circumstances of a particular applicant. Note: There have been years where the grant was not awarded due to declines in the value of the endowment.

How does an athlete apply? The 2014 application process has closed. However, to apply for the 2014 William E. Simon Olympic Endowment funds, athletes must have completed the online application (please see “Online Application Process” below) and uploaded the following:

  • A personal essay of up to three typed, double spaced pages. Please include your name in the filename of the uploaded document.
  • Two letters of recommendation. Please have your name included in the filename of the letters of recommendation.
  • Recommendation letters may accompany the grant or be sent separately as long as the reference’s contact information is included on the letter.

Additionally, athletes were able to upload supporting documents such as newspaper articles, statistics and other pertinent information in an electronic format such as Adobe PDF or a picture file.

What should be included in the essay? In 2014, the essay should have addressed why the athlete is a worthy grant recipient. In particular the athlete should have explained:

  • His or her background in the sport, including competition results
  • Financial need/circumstances affecting the athlete’s ability to train and compete
  • How this grant, if awarded, would “make a difference”
  • What it means to be able to practice/participate in the chosen sport

Who should write the letters of recommendation? This is entirely up to the athlete but teachers, counselors, coaches, and employers are good choices since they can usually comment on overall character, achievement, and promise. The recommendation letters must contain the name, address, and telephone number of the writer; and if not uploaded with the application, must arrive by email (below), by the application deadline. The USOC is not responsible for late, misdirected, or undeliverable applications.

How much does it cost to apply and what is the deadline? There is no charge to apply for this grant. However, the 2014 application deadline has passed and information on the 2015 William E. Simon Olympic Endowment is not yet available. 

When will applicants be notified? Award nominations are reviewed by the Trustees annually, usually at year-end. We anticipate that 2014 award decisions will be finalized and applicants notified by January 31, 2015.

For additional information, email simon.grant@usoc.org.