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August 12, 2016

Donors Offer U.S. Wrestlers Big Paydays for Rio Gold

A group of wealthy former wrestlers who’ve made it big in finance are offering up to $500,000 to American grapplers competing at the Rio Olympics, writes The New York Times.

Led by private-equity tycoon Michael Novogratz and Ironstate Development Company President David Barry, both of whom wrestled at college, the Living the Dream Medal Fund aims to support athletes whose sport gets little corporate or philanthropic support and was nearly booted from the games a few years ago.

The fund has doled out $1.225 million to date to Olympic and world-championship medalists. This year, U.S. wrestler Jordan Burroughs will get $500,000 if he successfully defends his 2012 title in London in the 163-pound division. The fund has pledged $250,000 to other wrestlers winning gold, $50,000 for silver, and $25,000 for bronze, several times what the United States Olympic Committee pays medalists.