24 Jan USATF Foundation Announces Operation Hammer Sweep Paris ’24!
PITTSBURGH, PA – The USATF Foundation is pleased to announce an unprecedented further commitment of new Operation Hammer Sweep funding aimed at Team USA hammer domination in the Paris ’24 Olympics. OHSP24 brings a fresh infusion of $100,000 in funding exclusively for the hammer throw.
The initiative is designed to provide immediate additional support to the top 3 finishers at the ’23 USATF Outdoor Championships in the men and women’s events as well as those who placed in the 4-6 positions – a move aimed at deepening the field of contenders. The funds will be advanced to the athletes immediately to support their training toward Paris ’24. Brooke Anderson, DeAnna Price, Janee’ Kassanavoid, Rudy Winkler, Daniel Haugh, and Alex Young will each receive immediate grants of $10,000. Brock Eager, Jordan Geist, Justin Stafford, Jillian Shippee, Annette Echikunwoke and Erin Reese will each receive immediate grants of $5,000. Under the OHSP24 framework, additional grants of $5,000 will be awarded to the top 3 finishers at the 2024 Olympic Trials. All of this funding comes on top of Foundation Elite Athlete Grants and Stephen A. Schwarzman Grants that OHSP24 grantees may qualify for.
Operation Hammer Sweep was spearheaded in 2022 by Foundation Director Ken Flax – a two-time Olympian in the hammer throw for Team USA in ’88 and ’92, backed by the generous support of anonymous donors. The donors, who are dear friends of Flax, support causes that they are passionate about, and have generously supported the OHS mission with $200,000 since its inception.
As a former Olympian who competed in an era prior to the existence of the Foundation’s support, he knows all too well the struggles and funding challenges that throwers continue to face. Other than the Foundation, support for the event is almost non-existent. As Ken has said from the outset, “My friend and I created Operation Hammer Sweep to give America’s top hammer throwers the extra resources to help accomplish a podium sweep at the World Championships and/or Olympics. An American Podium sweep has not been achieved since the 1904 Olympic Games.” He added, “with OHSP24, we are expanding support beyond our top 3 and spreading it even deeper to up-and-coming contenders, to help them stay in the sport and grow to their potential.”
Operation Hammer Sweep Grantee Deanna Price spoke for fellow grantees, saying “Talk about dreams becoming reality. With the USATF Foundation Operation Hammer Sweep Grants, all my dreams are within reach. Pushing myself to new limits every day, but with this generous donation it gives me the drive to keep going knowing that the USATF Foundation is in my corner. I can’t thank our generous anonymous donors enough! The future is bright for the USA hammer throwers!”