Four U.S. World champions presented Living the Dream Medal Fund checks for $50,000

By Richard Immel USA Wrestling | Nov. 05, 2015, 1:10 a.m. (ET)
 Kyle Snyder, Jordan Burroughs, Helen Maroulis and Adeline Gray
with their Living the Dream Medal Fund checks for $50,000.
Photo: Justin Hoch
NEW YORK – World champions Jordan Burroughs, Kyle Snyder, Adeline Gray and Helen Maroulis were honored Wednesday evening for their achievements at the 2015 World Championships in Las Vegas, Nev. and publicly presented with $50,000 checks for earning World gold medals.

The funds awarded to these four World champions were made possible by the Living the Dream Medal Fund comprised of generous donations by the wrestling community honoring the hard work of our champions.

Burroughs won his third World title this year to go along with his Olympic gold medal in 2012. He is now a five-time World and Olympic medalist for the U.S. in men's freestyle.

“Getting big checks never gets old,” Burroughs said. “I think USA Wrestling has a very bright future. It's been a great opportunity for me to bring home a lot of these [checks] but I think we have a lot of young guys who are going to have an opportunity to have these sitting in their living rooms at home very soon. The question is: how am I going to get this through the airport?"

Gray won her third World gold medal for the U.S. women’s freestyle program this year in Las Vegas, Nev. In total, Gray owns five World medals and will be a favorite for Olympic gold at 75 kg in Rio.

“I couldn't be living this amazing life without that support that we have and so it's just unbelievable that I'm living the life I am. I am a professional athlete right now, and I'm a female, and it's a pretty amazing life. I just want to thank USA Wrestling and thank programs like this because it really does make it possible to live this dream,” said Gray.

Snyder became the youngest World champion in U.S. history this year at 19 years of age. He dazzled at his first Senior World Championships en route to the 97 kg gold medal just months after completing his freshman year of college at Ohio State.

Maroulis picked up her first World Championships gold medal in Las Vegas at 55 kg in women's freestyle. This year's gold gives Maroulis three World medals overall.

The check presentations were held alongside a fundraising event for USA Wrestling and the United States Wrestling Foundation, who also sponsored the event, at a private club in New York City.

Two-time Olympic gold medalist and three-time World champion Bruce Baumgartner was the keynote speaker for the event. Baumgartner is a 13-time Olympic and World medalist. He is currently the Director of Athletics at Edinboro University.

"It's really hard to not be excited about USA Wrestling, the United States Wrestling Foundation and their volunteers and boards for really coming together and providing opportunities...for our world and Olympic team members so they can go on and win medals,” said Baumgartner.

“That's what we're here for, is to provide our Olympians, our world team members the best resources to go on and win those medals,” Baumgartner continued. “I want to congratulate Kyle, Jordan, Helen, and Adeline. Winning a World Championships is an awesome feat.”

A board comprised of USA Wrestling representatives and a group of stewards who have helped establish the Living the Dream Medal Fund oversee the fund and assist in financially underwriting it.

Living the Dream Medal Fund stewards include the Martori family, Andy Barth, Dave Barry, Richard Tavoso, Mike Novogratz, Stan Dziedzic, Dave Bunning, the United States Olympic Committee and USA Wrestling.

The fund awards incremental stipends for gold, silver and bronze medal finishes at the 2013-2015 World Championships and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Gold medalists at this year’s World Championships receive $50,000 while $25,000 is awarded to silver medalists and $15,000 to bronze medalists.

This event comes in advance of the Bill Farrell International that will be held this Friday and Saturday at the New York Athletic Club in Manhattan. The Bill Farrell International is one of the premier international competitions held annually in the U.S. and will feature many top U.S. and international competitors.