Freestyle Team USA donates and gets “ON THE LIST” for the Living the Dream Medal Fund
Members of Freestyle Team USA, the national team for freestyle wrestling, decided that they wanted to show support for the new Living the Dream Medal Fund.
Athletes who attended the July training and competition tour to Azerbaijan decided to donate $500 of their prize earnings from the dual meet against Azerbaijan towards this exciting new fund. They invite you to join them as contributors to the Living the Dream Medal Fund.and proudly say "I'M ON THE LIST!"
"We decided as a group to put it towards the Living the Dream Medal Fund to help spark interest in the program. We wanted to show that we are united as a group to win medals for the United States and are willing to put our money toward the cause," said 2008 U.S. Olympian Andy Hrovat of the New York AC.
USA Wrestling created this new program to substantially increase the financial rewards for U.S. wrestlers who win Olympic and World medals during the next four-year Olympic cycle.
"It is a great idea," said 2009 U.S. World Team member Jake Herbert of the New York AC. "It shows that we care about this program. The support goes for all of us, the men's freestyle wrestlers, the Greco-Roman wrestlers and the women wrestlers."
The tour to Azerbaijan was an important aspect of the U.S. Freestyle World Team's preparation for the World Championships in Herning, Denmark, Sept. 21-27. The team participated in a training camp with their Azerbaijan hosts, then wrestled in a dual meet and finished up by competing in the Heydar Aliyev Golden Grand Prix in Baku. The trip was a key part of the freestyle team's effort to win World Championship medals for the United States this year and in the future.
"The tournament was full of World medalists and Olympic medalists," said Hrovat. "It was great for the young athletes on the tour. This event was at the level just below the World Championships. You would see top guys at every weight class, no matter what."
The Living the Dream Medal Fund has a simple approach. Any U.S. wrestler who wins a gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England will receive a quarter-million dollars ($250,000).
Silver medalists in London will earn $50,000 and bronze medalists in London will receive $25,000. The payout for a World Championships medal in 2009, 2010 and 2011 will be $50,000 for a gold, $25,000 for a silver and $15,000 for a bronze.
The Fund will be maintained as a restricted and segregated fund by USA Wrestling. It will be overseen by a board that includes representatives of USA Wrestling as well as the group of stewards who have helped establish the Fund and will assist in financially underwriting it. In addition to the support of the stewards, funding will also come from a public fundraising program as well as from existing support from USA Wrestling and the U.S. Olympic Committee.
"This is a good example of the selflessness of the team," said National Freestyle Coach Zeke Jones. "For them to give to this program means a lot. They are saying that they care about their teammates. When one of them wins a medal, they want to help. When you don't have a lot and you give, it has so much value. I hope America does the same thing."
USA Wrestling has set up a website for the Living the Dream Medal Fund, where wrestling supporters can make donations to the project. People have been asked to give donations from $5 to $5,000 to the fund.
"This shows how wrestlers take care of wrestlers," said Herbert. "Everybody's donation counts. Why not put in whatever you can?"
To say "I'M ON THE LIST" and make an online donation, click here:
Supporters can also send their contribution by mail. Checks should be made out to USA Wrestling, and sent to:
Living the Dream Medal Fund
c/o USA Wrestling
6155 Lehman Dr.
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
For the current list of Living the Dream Medal Fund donors, click here: