December 15, 2009

USOEC receives Olympic education scholarship funding

 

MARQUETTE, Mich.—For an 11th consecutive year, elite athletes training at one of the United States’ Olympic training or education centers, including the United States Olympic Education Center at Northern Michigan University, will receive funding for their educational needs through the Olympic Education Scholarship program.
This year, $970,000 has been designated for the program as part of the federal fiscal year 2010 appropriation bill that is now awaiting President Barack Obama’s signature.
“The Olympic Scholarship program represents not only the best of the Olympic spirit, but also this country’s commitment to student athletes who want to achieve a university education while training. We are proud to have them on the Northern Michigan University campus and we are indebted to U.S. Congressman Bart Stupak [D-Menominee] for his continuing support of the program,” said NMU President Les Wong.
All athletes who live and train at the U.S. Olympic training and education centers in Colorado Springs, Colo., Chula Vista, Calif., Lake Placid, N.Y., and Marquette are eligible to apply for the scholarship. Since the program’s inception, student-athletes in more than 20 sports have been recipients of the award, attending nearly 30 colleges and universities in eight states.
“The scholarship program is extremely important to many Olympic-aspiring athletes,” said Jeff Kleinschmidt, director of the USOEC.  “Unlike NCAA and even high school athletes, elite athletes training for the Olympics often have to purchase their own equipment and pay for their own travel to certain events.  The high cost and significant time commitment required of Olympic athletes would preclude many of them from attending college if it wasn’t for this program.”
            In the 11 consecutive years of the program, which was renamed the B.J. Stupak Olympic Education Scholarship Program in 2001 in honor of the late son of Stupak, the funding amounts have ranged from $970,000 to $1 million dollars. This year’s funding brings the total funding for the Olympic scholarship program to $10.8 million.
            “As they train for the Olympics, these student athletes are pushed not only to their physical limits, but also to financial limits,” Stupak said. “This scholarship takes some of the financial burden off these men and women, allowing them to concentrate fully on their training and education. I am pleased that another group of future Olympians will benefit from this scholarship and obtain a quality education that will serve them well in their post-Olympic life.”
            To learn more about the program or to apply for a scholarship, go to www.nmu.edu/usoec.


Prepared By
Cindy Paavola
Director of Communications
906-227-2716