13 U.S. wrestlers earn prize money from UWW end-of-year awards
by UWW and USA Wrestling
Headshot photos of Tamyra Mensah-Stock and David Taylor by United World Wrestling.
As part of United World Wrestling’s end-of-the-year awards, 13 USA wrestling athletes are among the 90 wrestlers worldwide to earn prize money for their performances throughout the 2021 season.
Based on a ranking system that honors the most active wrestler throughout the season, wrestlers of all three styles and 30 weight categories will receive prize money with the top-ranked wrestler getting $10,000 followed by $7,000 for the second-placed wrestler and $3,000 for the third-ranked wrestler. Previously the Ranking Series award allocation went to the top-three overall point-getters in each style.
Eight Americans earned No. 1 rankings, including:
- Thomas Gilman (57 kg men’s freestyle) – 2020 Olympic bronze, 2021 World gold
- Kyle Dake (74 kg men’s freestyle) – 2020 Olympic bronze, 2021 World gold
- Jordan Burroughs (79 kg men’s freestyle) – 2021 World gold
- David Taylor (86 kg men’s freestyle) – 2020 Olympic gold, 2021 World silver
- Sarah Hildebrandt (50 kg women’s freestyle) – 2020 Olympic bronze, 2021 World silver
- Helen Maroulis (57 kg women’s freestyle) – 2020 Olympic bronze, 2021 World gold
- Tamyra Mensah-Stock (68 kg women’s freestyle) – 2020 Olympic gold, 2021 World bronze
- Adeline Gray (76 kg women’s freestyle) – 2020 Olympic silver, 2021 World gold
Coming in at No. 2 rankings are men’s freestyle wrestlers Daton Fix (61 kg), Alec Pantaleo (70 kg) and Kyle Snyder (97 kg), while No. 3 rankings go to men’s freestyler Gable Steveson (125 kg) and women’s wrestler Kayla Miracle (62 kg).
In 2019, nine wrestlers were awarded prize money but UWW's emphasis on putting athletes first made it expand to 90 and the prize money from around $200,000 to $600,000. The 2021 prize money combines the amount that was reserved for 2020 but was not distributed due to the impact COVID-19 had on the competition.
This season was unlike any other with Olympics and World Championships in the same year apart from the other ranking events which allowed wrestlers to collect ranking points. The point distributions are unchanged for all events except the Olympic Games, where medalists earned 20 percent more than they did for performances at the 2021 World Championships. All Tokyo Games gold medalists will get 10 additional points, silver will get 6 additional points and bronze will be awarded 3 additional points.