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News and Notes, Volume 12, Number 13

In this edition:
1. Nelson Fundraising for Rare Diseases
2. Reese, Eaton runners-up for USOC honor
3. USATF Foundation establishes $50,000 Olympic qualifier bonus pool for elite grant recipients
4. Grants for Female Athletes and Teams

Nelson Fundraising for Rare Diseases
Adam Nelson has launched a fundraiser for the RARE Project through where  individuals make over/under bets that Nelson makes the Olympic team. For example, an individual might donate $25 as a minimum, but pledges to donate $100 if Nelson makes the team.

Nelson has already received more than $4,000 in pledged bets, with a total goal of raising $25,000. All of the money will go to the RARE project which exists to raise rare disease awareness and fund innovations to support rare disease support.

For Nelson, this is more than just a fundraiser, this is a cause that is personal.

“I have a very good friend who I met when I was training for my first Olympics in California,” Nelson said. “His son was diagnosed with MPS3, it’s a neurological disease that primarily affects young children, and it’s terminal.”

“I have two young kids, and as I have gotten more involved with the RARE community I’ve been able to connect with parents of rare disease children,” Nelson said. “The people in this community are true inspirations. As athletes we think we are inspirational people, but I’ve gained so much inspiration from these parents and the paths they’ve chosen.”

Nelson’s Charity Bet’s website can be found at

Reese, Eaton runners-up for USOC honor
Ashton Eaton and Brittney Reese both took second place in the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Athlete of the Month honors. At the IAAF World Indoor Championships in March, Eaton set a world record in the heptathlon en route to winning the gold with 6,645 points. Reese also set the American record with her winning leap of 7.23m/23-8.75. Alpine Skier Lindsey Vonn and gymnast Chris Brooks took the top honors as USOC athletes of the month.

USATF Foundation establishes $50,000 Olympic qualifier bonus pool for elite grant recipients
The USA Track & Field Foundation has created a bonus pool of $50,000 that will be divided amongst prior elite athlete grant recipients who qualify, and represent Team USA at the 2012 London Olympic Games this summer, announced Foundation Executive Director Tom Jackovic and Chairman Bob Greifeld today.

Athletes who have been awarded an Elite Athlete Development Grant since the program’s inception are eligible to receive a share of the pool. To date, Foundation grants have been issued to 103 different Olympic hopefuls over the past several years, many of whom are serious contenders to represent the USA in London this summer. Individual bonuses will be determined by the number of grantee athletes earning a spot on the Olympic team.

“The USATF Foundation is spot on with their mission to support athletes like myself who don't have the media attention and financial backing of some of the more popular events,” said Stephanie Brown Trafton, 2008 Olympic discus champion. “You provided a way for my coach to travel to the biggest competition of my lifetime, and without that piece of the puzzle filled in, I would not have been able to accomplish my wonderful gold medal performance.”

These special bonus grants will assist athletes with expenses associated with their Olympic Games preparation, including training costs, coaching, travel to competitions, health insurance, and injury care & prevention.

For more information, or to contribute to the USA Track & Field Foundation, visit or contact Tom Jackovic, Executive Director, at (412) 398-2484 or

Grants for Female Athletes and Teams
The Women’s Sports Foundation provides assistance to aspiring individual athletes and teams with successful competitive records who have the potential to achieve even higher performance levels and rankings. The Foundation is currently accepting applications for the 2012 grant cycle. Requests for assistance are considered for coaching, specialized training, equipment, attire and/or travel. An individual may request up to $5,000 and a team up to $10,000. Please visit to learn more and apply. The deadline is June 8, 2012.

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