Living the Dream Medal Fund Telethon was a big success on Friday night

By Gary Abbott | Aug. 25, 2010, 3:54 p.m. (ET)
U.S. World Team members working the phones during the Living the Dream Medal Fund Telethon included (on top) Jake Herbert and Brent Metcalf and (on bottom) Kelsey Campbell, Jessica Medina and Jake Clark.

USA Wrestling is pleased to report that the Living The Dream Medal Fund Telethon & Benefit Webcast was a big success on Friday, August 20.

USA Wrestling, in partnership with Flo Wrestling and comedian Greg Warren, presented a live two-hour webcast, in which U.S. World Team members spoke directly with wrestling fans and donors via telephone. There were a number of feature segments aired on the broadcast, as well as many live interviews with athletes and guests.

The telethon is just the beginning of a new campaign. Initial estimates indicate that 128 individuals donated directly to the Living the Dream Medal Fund during the show, and more donations are expected in the upcoming days. There were almost 7,500 views of the show during the two hours.

The event was hosted by USA Wrestling's Jason Bryant, along with Al Bevilacqua, chairman of the Living the Dream Medal Fund project.

A highlight of the webcast was special guest Greg Warren, a talented stand-up comedian and successful wrestler. In interviews with Bryant, Warren shared numerous funny stories about his experiences within wrestling. Some of the stories included his wrestling run-ins with Steve Barrett and Tim Kreiger and anecdotes about his life as the son of a wrestling coach.

He has been a sensation on Flowrestling with the character Wesley "Wes" Wesley. Aired on the Living the Dream Medal Fund Webcast were two new segments featuring Wesley "Wes" Wesley, shot at the U.S. Olympic Training Center earlier in the week.

The show featured a live interview with Mike Novogratz, a steward of the Living the Dream Medal Fund. National Team athletes Jake Herbert, Elena Pirozhkova, Jake Clark, J.D. Bergman and Justin Ruiz were interviewed on the broadcast, along with Olympic champion Kendall Cross.

Also aired on the show were both matches of the Raymond Jordan vs. Mack Lewnes University World Team Special Wrestle-off held earlier in the day. The broadcast also included a video action highlight feature of all members of the U.S. World Team along with a taped interview with U.S. World Team athlete Kelsey Campbell.

Numerous wrestling legends called in to speak with the athletes, including past Team USA members and current MMA stars Daniel Cormier and Mo Lawal, Olympians Jim and Bill Scherr and many more.

Although the webcast is over, USA Wrestling is continuing the campaign, encouraging others to donate to the program in the next two weeks, prior to the start of the 2010 World Wrestling Championships in Moscow, Russia. Sept. 6-12.

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 this 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.