Discus thrower Aretha Thurmond & heptathlete Diana Pickler received these bonuses as a result of earning berths on the US Olympic team during the first weekend of the Trials.
Shani Marks (triple jump), Stephanie Brown Trafton (discus), David Oliver (110 hurdles), Mike Hazle (javelin), April Steiner (pole vault), Loree Smith (hammer throw) and Leigh Smith (javelin) also received the bonuses to assist with expenses associated with training for the Olympic Games in August.
"It is very exciting to see so many of the athletes that we support through the elite grant program excel at the Olympic Trials," said USATF Foundation Director Ashley Wright. "It's truly an honor to further support these athletes as they fulfill their Olympic dreams." stated
The USATF Foundation Elite Athlete Grant program contributes to the pursuit of world-class performances by American post-collegiate track and field athletes. Athletes must meet minimum performance and income standards to be eligible. The Foundation assists people of all ages, all walks of life, and all ability levels in finding enjoyment and accomplishment and achieving fitness through the sport.
In a post on letsrun.com, USATF Foundation board member Jack Wickens stated that, "The USATF Foundation decided to reward ALL athletes that have received individual grants from us since 2006 with a "bonus" if they made the Olympic team (regardless of their current financial position). We felt that this action visibly reinforced the mission and purpose of our elite athlete support. These athletes, in a sense, made great use of our investment in them."