U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Foundation News

William E. Simon Olympic Endowment for the Support of Athletes awards grant funding to 12 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls


Funds generated from The William E. Simon Olympic Endowment for the Support of Athletes benefit currently-competing U.S. Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls.

COLORADO SPRINGS – The United States Olympic Committee today announced that the trustees for the William E. Simon Olympic Endowment for the Support of Athletes have approved $70,000 in 2016 grant funding to 12 men and women pursuing their dreams of representing the United States at future Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Established in 1998 with a gift of $1 million from its namesake, William E. Simon, the William E. Simon Olympic Endowment for the Support of Athletes provides financial aid to underwrite a portion of athletes’ training and competition expenses. Grants are awarded annually. Funds are invested with the U.S. Olympic Endowment and are administered by the USOC.

Members of the Simon family serve as trustees for the Simon Endowment, as well as for the William E. Simon Foundation. Since the program’s inception, more than $920,000 has been awarded by the USOC to nearly 200 athletes.

The 2016 recipients are (with current residence):

Leilani Akiyama, judo (Bellevue, Wash.)
Jazmin Almlie-Ryan, Paralympic shooting (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
Victoria Anthony, wrestling (Huntington Beach, Calif.)
Matthew Bigos, Paralympic cycling (Cardiff, Calif.)
Colton Brown, judo (Piscataway, N.J.)
Nathan Chen, figure skating (Irvine, Calif.)
Thomas Rowley, freestyle skiing (Long Beach, N.Y.)
Giles Smith, swimming (Phoenix, Ariz.)
Michal Smolen, canoe/kayak (Gastonia, N.C.)
Ashley Twichell Wall, open water swimming (Apex, N.C.)
Richard Vandergrift, Paralympic rowing (Bethel, Ohio)
Thomas Walsh, Paralympic alpine skiing (Vail, Colo.)

For nearly four decades, Simon did much to further the goals and ideals of the Olympic Movement in the United States. He served as treasurer of the USOC from 1977-81 and as its president from 1981-85, including during the 1984 Games in Los Angeles and Sarajevo. In 1985, Simon co-founded the U.S. Olympic Foundation, now the U.S. Olympic Endowment (USOE), using surplus funds generated from the Los Angeles Games. He served as the USOE’s chairman until 1997.

Simon received the Silver Award of the Olympic Order from the International Olympic Committee in 1985, and in 1991 he was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame.

In addition to his success in business, Simon was appointed as the 63rd Secretary of the Treasury by President Nixon in 1974, a post to which he was reappointed by President Ford and which he held until 1977.

For additional information, please email the USOC at simon.grant@usoc.org

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