NEW YORK CITY – In two weeks athletes from across the nation will band together with pride to represent Team USA at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London, England.  In preparation for this momentous event, the USATF Foundation announced 25 Stephen A. Schwarzman grant awards in the amount of $25,000 to members of Team USA today, announced Foundation Executive Director Tom Jackovic and Chairman Bob Greifeld.

Earlier this year, Stephen A. Schwarzman, Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder of Blackstone, became the largest individual donor to the USATF Foundation and made an unprecedented $2.5 million donation in support of elite track & field athletes. The gift is meant to provide financial support to the most promising track & field athletes as they train for the World Championships and Olympic Games.

“I’m proud to support these world-class athletes so that they have the opportunity to compete at the highest level and do our country proud. They represent the best the United States has to offer and are people of tremendous drive and determination. As a devoted follower of the sport and former track and field athlete myself, I’m excited to see all that they achieve as they go for the gold at the World Championships and the Olympics,” stated Stephen A. Schwarzman.

As athletes are gearing up for their trip to London to compete at the highest level, they know the world will be watching.  The stakes are high and the pressure is on as they attempt to realize their dream of becoming a World Champion.  Along with the stress of competing often comes the financial burden the athletes must undertake to make their dream a reality.  These grant funds can be used to ease the stress of expenses of coaching, training, equipment, medical treatment, recovery, and travel.  These grant funds will dramatically affect the athletes’ ability to compete and allow them to focus on winning medals.

The grant amount awarded to these elite athletes is $25,000, which marks a record high in giving for an individual USATF Foundation elite grant.  The USATF Foundation has always focused on providing financial aid to athletes with a lower income threshold, but with this generous gift from Stephen A. Schwarzman, the Foundation is able to support athletes at a new level.

The 25 talented athletes to receive funding in the amount of $25,000 each are:

Nia Ali 100m Hurdles
Chris Benard Triple Jump
Gwen Berry Hammer Throw
Erica Bougard Heptathlon
Hillary Bor Steeplechase
Daniella Bunch Shot Put
Michelle Carter Shot Put
Paul Chelimo 5000m
Will Claye Triple Jump
Ryan Crouser Shot Put
Vashti Cunningham High Jump
Kendra Harrison 100m Hurdles
Quanera Hayes 400m
Sam Kendricks Pole Vault
Joe Kovacs Shot Put
Shamier Little 400m Hurdles
Charlene Lipsey 800m
Christina Manning 100m Hurdles
Dalilah Muhammed 400m Hurdles
Bryshon Nellum 4x400m Relay
Deanna Price Hammer Throw
Michael Stigler 400m Hurdles
Ameer Webb 200m
Kendell Williams Heptathlon
Drew Windle 800m