US Sailing Foundation

Kevin Burnham Memorial Fund, Grant, and Award

Passion, persistence, and perseverance are only some of the words to describe Athens 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist Kevin Burnham.

Both on and off the water, Kevin was known for his exuberance and kindness, which guided him as a sailor, a competitor, and as a coach. His remarkable legacy will be carried on through an endowed Award, annual Grant, and a memorial Fund started by his wife, Elizabeth Kratzig, children Edward and Kyla Burnham, and lifelong friend Steve Benjamin, through the US Sailing Foundation.


The Award is open to sailors who compete or previously competed in Olympic classes and/or the Olympic Development Program.

It will be given annually to a competitor (or team of competitors) who best exemplifies Kevin’s spirit and embodies these characteristics: passion, perseverance, persistence, sportsmanship on and off the water, love of the sport and love of his/her competitors.

Award recipients’ names will appear on a perpetual plaque displayed beside the Olympic Torch which Kevin carried in the 1996 Games, located at the US Sailing headquarters in Bristol, RI.

The 2023 application period is now closed. Please check back for 2024 application period dates.


Grant applications are open to all sailors in Olympic classes and/or the Olympic Development Program who are eligible to represent the United States at a USOPC delegation event (as defined by the USOPC) and are under the age of 32 as of January 1 in the calendar year the Grant is awarded.

Through a competitive selection process, monetary grants will be awarded to young sailors who demonstrate outstanding competitive sailing potential, display an infectious enthusiasm, and compete in two-person trapeze dinghies. The performance and results of sailors will also be considered when choosing Grant recipients.

Accompanying the Grants will be a certificate that explains Kevin Burnham’s indelible mark on Olympic and Youth Sailing. US Sailing will also announce the honor through a press release.

The number and dollar amount of Grants will be determined each year based on the suitability of the application and the Fund balance and earnings.

The 2023 nomination period is now closed. Please check back for 2024 nomination period dates.



Your contribution to the Kevin Burnham Memorial Fund will help to provide financial support to athletes competing in two-person trapeze dinghies in Olympic classes and/or in the Olympic Development Program. The goal is for the fund to grow large enough to endow a US Sailing coaching position in Kevin’s name.

Kevin's accomplishments as a sailor are extraordinary and his Olympic spirit is iconic. His passion for coaching and teaching sailing coupled with his perseverance in pursuit of his goals are legendary. It took Kevin over 25 years to reach his goal of winning a Gold Medal. After Kevin won the Gold, his new goal became passing on his knowledge, passion, and love of the sport to younger sailors.

With your support, Kevin’s goal and his legacy will live on for many future generations.

Contributions can be made in cash, through donor-advised funds, pledges of support and planned giving. For additional information contact us at