U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Foundation News

William E. Simon Olympic Endowment for the Support of Athletes awards 2020 grant funding to 23 U.S. athletes

by U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Foundation

Olympic rings alongside the Rainbow Bridge (Photo by USOPC)

The United States Olympic & Paralympic Foundation today announced that the William E. Simon Olympic Endowment for the Support of Athletes has awarded $70,000 in 2020 grant funding to 23 athletes training to represent the United States at the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 and the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.

The William E. Simon Endowment was established in 1998 with a gift of $1 million from its namesake with the intent of providing financial aid to Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls in order to underwrite a portion of training and competition expenses. Funds are invested with the U.S. Olympic Endowment and administered by the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee, which awards grants on an annual basis.

Members of the Simon family serve as trustees for the Simon Endowment as well as for the William E. Simon Foundation. The USOPC has awarded nearly $1 million to more than 200 athletes since the endowment’s inception.

In addition to their award funding, Simon Grant recipients receive financial literacy education from four-time Olympian and certified financial planner Lauryn Williams. The financial planning sessions are held at no cost to the athletes.

The 2020 recipients are:

  • Aaron Muss, snowboarding (Rumson, New Jersey)
  • Amanda Dennis, goalball (Peachtree City, Georgia)
  • Amber Neben, cycling (Irvine, California)
  • Andrew Haraghey, Para alpine skiing (Enfield, Connecticut)
  • Breeja Larson, swimming (Mesa, Arizona)
  • Chaunte Lowe, track & field (Riverside, California)
  • Cody Jung, Para-cycling (Poway, California)
  • Eliana Mason, goalball (Beaverton, Oregon)
  • Evita Griskenas, gymnastics (Orland Park, Illinois)
  • Gabrielle DeLoof, swimming (Grosse Pointe, Michigan)
  • Jaide Stepter, track & field (Tucson, Arizona)
  • Jasmine Todd, track & field (Chandler, Arizona)
  • Joe Delagrave, wheelchair rugby (Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin)
  • Joe Jackson, wheelchair rugby (Chandler, Arizona)
  • Kai Zhang, table tennis (Westchester, New York)
  • Lisa Czechowski, goalball (Boonton, New Jersey)
  • McClain Hermes, Para swimming (Dacula, Georgia)
  • Savannah Graybill, skeleton (Denver, Pennsylvania)
  • Shelby Baron, wheelchair tennis (Honolulu, Hawaii)
  • Sophia Vitas, rowing (Franklin, Wisconsin)
  • Steve Emt, Para curling (Hebron, Connecticut)
  • Tricia Downing, Para shooting (Denver, Colorado)
  • Virginia Thrasher, shooting (Springfield, Virginia)

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

In 1974, Simon was appointed the 63rd Secretary of the Treasury by Richard Nixon, a post to which he was reappointed by Gerald Ford and held until 1977.

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 & Paralympic Hall of Fame.

For additional information, please contact the USOPC at simon.grant@usopc.org.