NEW YORK (Dec. 16) – One of the most notable supporters of the U.S. Ski Team's Olympic athletes, Thom Weisel, was honored by the United States Olympic Foundation. Weisel, one of the Team's leading supporters since 1977, was recognized with the Foundation's George M. Steinbrenner III Sport Leadership Award at a ceremony in New York.
The Steinbrenner Award is presented annually to honor an outstanding member of the Olympic family who has contributed to sport through management, sport organization endeavors or the enhancement of competitive opportunities, and who has displayed qualities of leadership, ethical conduct and dedicated responsibility during a longstanding commitment to sport.
"Thom Weisel's unwavering passion for athletics has directly benefited our athletes for nearly four decades," said USSA President and CEO Bill Marolt. "His vision, as well as an amazing ability to draw a focus and persevere to achieve a goal, has been a key component in our athletes' ability to become best in the world in their sport."
Weisel’s athletic achievements span four decades and include being a five-time national speed skating champion in the 1950s, masters skiing national medalist and three-time world champion in masters cycling. Yet his athletic accolades are only a part of his diverse career. He has directed an impressive array of business enterprises and has served on numerous boards.
A passionate skier himself, Weisel has played a vital role with the U.S. Ski Team for 35 years and continues as one of its most active supporters. Weisel joined the U.S. Ski Team Educational Foundation in 1977 and was its chair during the pivotal period from 1983-94. His leadership and personal contribution has helped to raise tens of millions of dollars to support U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association programs. His drive, passion and genuine love for athletes kept him intimately involved in the USSA for over 30 years. He was honored by the USSA in 1999 with its highest honor, the Julius Blegen Award, and is considered one the most influential leaders in the more than 100 year history of the USSA.
“I have received far more than I have given to this sport," said Weisel. "The athletes, coaches, organizational staff and an army of passionate volunteers have enabled experiences that have enriched my life forever.”
About the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team Foundation The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team Foundation is the nonprofit, fundraising arm of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA), the national governing body of Olympic skiing and snowboarding. With an organizational vision to be the best in the world in Olympic skiing and snowboarding, the foundation raises money to support year-round athlete training, development, competition and educational needs of world-class athletes pursuing their Olympic dream. The USSA receives no federal funding or subsidy moneys and operates solely through private donations from individuals, corporations and foundations. Some of the major giving programs include Olympic hospitality, major gifts, the Gold Pass program, special event fundraisers, VIP on-snow clinics and planned giving. The Foundation was incorporated in 1964 as a 501(c) 3 organization and is based in Park City, UT.
About the United States Olympic Foundation The United States Olympic Foundation was established in 1984 by the U.S. Olympic Committee, through the tireless efforts of F. Don Miller and William E. Simon, the USOC’s executive director and president, respectively, to administer and invest the surplus funds generated from the Games of the XXIII Olympiad in Los Angeles. Income generated from the initial permanent endowment of $111.4 million was used to grow the corpus of the fund and make grants to the USOC and its member organizations. Under the leadership of the Foundation’s initial chairman, Bill Simon, and his immediate successor, George M. Steinbrenner III, the USOF has succeeded in achieving this goal. In the past 26 years, the Foundation’s net assets have grown to approximately $191 million, while awarding grants to the USOC and its member organizations totaling $254 million.