Public encouraged to donate to the Living the Dream Medal Fund, which increases rewards to Olympic and World medalists
JOIN THE LIST: Become a donor to the exciting Living the Dream Medal Fund
On Friday, May 30, USA Wrestling made a major announcement that had the Olympic sports community buzzing. A new program, the Living the Dream Medal Fund, was established to substantially increase the financial rewards for U.S. wrestlers who win Olympic and World medals during the next four-year Olympic cycle.
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.
Wrestling supporters around the nation have responded by enthusiastically getting involved with the Living the Dream Medal Fund.
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.
Included among the stewards are all three Team Leaders for the U.S. wrestling programs: Mike Novogratz (freestyle), Dave Barry (Greco-Roman) and the family of Kim Martori-Wickey (women). Other initial stewards in the program include Rich Tavoso, Stan Dziedzic and Joe Alpert.
Everybody in wrestling has an opportunity to be part of the success of the program.
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.
To make a donation, click here:
A list of donors for the Living the Dream Medal Fund will be posted on the official website. The goal is to include thousands of people from all across the nation, all who share a passion for wrestling and want to help the United States to become the greatest wrestling nation in the world. The list will be updated weekly, right up to the opening of the 2012 Olympics in London.
The first donor to step up for the program was Al Bevilacqua of Amityville, N.Y., the 2008 USA Wrestling Man of the Year and a founder of Beat the Streets, Inc., which provides extensive wrestling opportunities for thousands of young people in New York City.
“This is great news for wrestling,” said Bevilacqua. “I encourage everybody in wrestling to join me and the other donors to support our U.S. athletes and team.”
For the current list of Living the Dream Medal Fund donors, click here:
The Living the Dream Medal Fund was covered extensively in the national media, with major stories written by the Associated Press, the New York Times and numerous other major outlets.
2009 U.S. World Team member Jake Herbert told the Associated Press that he appreciates the support that the wrestling community is providing to him and other U.S. wrestlers who are pursuing their Olympic dreams.
"It just shows how close-knit the wrestling community is. This sport brings all these amazing people together for a great cause. It's everybody helping everybody," Herbert told AP.
2008 Olympic champion Henry Cejudo told the New York Times that he plans to return for another shot at Olympic gold, and the new fund provides additional incentive.
“I always wanted to be the best. But the fund totally locked me in. I’m coming for that quarter-million,” Cejudo told the Times.
JOIN THE LIST… Be part of the growing number of wrestling supporters who are making the Living the Dream Medal Fund a reality.
*This announcement summarizes the purpose of and provides general information regarding the living the dream medal fund. Additional information pertaining to the fund may be obtained from USA Wrestling, including information regarding return of contributions to donors in the event the full amount of the fund is not awarded after conclusion of the 2012 Olympic Games based on the performance of the USA Wrestling 2009, 2010 and 2011 World Teams and 2012 USA Olympic Wrestling Teams.