NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Feb 23, 2017) - The USA Track & Field Foundation today announced that Stephen A. Schwarzman, Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder of Blackstone, has made an unprecedented $2.5 million donation in support of elite athletes. The gift will provide financial support to the most promising track & field athletes as they train for the World Championships and Olympic Games.
"Steve's generous gift will ensure that the very best American track & field athletes, regardless of circumstances, will have the time and resources necessary to train and compete in the most elite global competitions," said USATF Foundation Chairman Bob Greifeld. "It's a tremendous commitment and one that will impact the sport for many years."
Over the past four years, Mr. Schwarzman has demonstrated his commitment to assisting those athletes at the top of their events with the financial support to bring home a World Championship or Olympic medal, providing support to over 75 athletes to-date. As a result of this newly-announced gift, the USATF Foundation will award 25 elite track & field athletes grants of $25,000 each year for the next four years.
"As a former track & field athlete and an avid fan of the sport, I am proud to support our nation's most promising athletes as they train and compete at the highest possible level," said Stephen A. Schwarzman, Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder of Blackstone. "I look forward to watching these athletes reach new heights as they represent the United States at the Olympics and World Championships."
The USA Track & Field Foundation provides means to attract and guide funds to new and innovative track & field programs with an emphasis on providing opportunities for youth athletes, emerging elite athletes, and distance training centers. The Foundation depends upon donations from its Board of Directors, major gifts and from generous fans of track & field.
"Through the support of generous donors like Stephen Schwarzman, a record 31 USATF Foundation grantees competed in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, with seven athletes bringing home nine Olympic medals," said USATF Foundation Executive Director Tom Jackovic. "This generous new gift will allow even more Foundation grantees to succeed in the World Championships this year in London and at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo."
The grant recipients will be selected from the USATF Foundation's elite grant applicant pool. Applications are submitted on an annual basis and the grant criteria includes income thresholds, performance standards, and competition results leading up to World Championships and/or Olympic Games. Please go to www.usatffoundation.org/grant-info/athlete-applications to apply for a USATF Foundation grant.
Elite athletes are supported by the Foundation via monetary grants and participation in Run With US! (www.runwithus.org). Youth athletes are supported via monetary grants to youth clubs.
For more information, or to contribute to the USA Track& Field Foundation, visit www.usatffoundation.org