Philanthropy in Sports

Contributions to Skiing and Cycling

U.S. Ski Team fund raiser, 2000.  Thom with Michael Bloomberg, Peter Kellogg, and gold medal recipients. New York, 2000.

Thom with USA Cycling CEO Steve Johnson and several Champion Club Members. From LEFT to Right: Mick Hellman, Skip Battle, Steve Johnson, Rich Silverstein, Matt Barger and Ed McCall.

Mr. Weisel has been on the US Ski and Snowboard Team Board since 1977 and was the Chairman from 1983-1994. During his tenure he reorganized the national governing body of skiing by merging the United States Ski Association with the US Ski Team, revamping its governance, board structure, and funding. He is responsible for attracting many of the current board members who serve today. Since then, the US Ski Team has captured more Olympic medals than any other nation. Mr. Weisel was awarded the Belgen Award in 1999 by the US Ski Team for his contributions to the sport. Mr. Weisel was also inducted into the USSA Hall of Fame in April of 2018.

Outside the US Ski Team’s “Center of Excellence” there are several tributes to a number of people who have had a material effect on the team. Under Thom Weisel it reads: “One of America’s most successful financial giants. Thom Weisel’s real passion has always been sport. An avid skier and cyclist, Weisel was among an important group of businessmen who played key leadership roles with the US Ski and Snowboard Team Foundation. Weisel joined the then US Ski Team Educational Foundation in 1977 and was its chair during a pivotal period from 1983-94. Weisel’s leadership however, has long gone well beyond his financial contributions. His drive, passion and genuine love for athletes kept him intimately involved in the USSA for over 30 years.”

Mr. Weisel is the Founder of the US Cycling Foundation, has been a member of the Board since 2000, and is the board’s current Chairman. He reorganized the US Cycling Federation board on which he served for a year. He changed the size and composition of the board, reorganized its governance, strategic planning, and funding model. Over the course of the last 15 years, revenue for US Cycling has gone from $ 5.5 million to $14 million, memberships have grown from 30,000 to 64,000, and member clubs have increased from 1,100 to 2,700. The annual athletic budget has increased from $1 million to $4.5 million. The Federation was bankrupt in 2000 prior to his involvement and now has $15 million in cash. On the athletic side, the Olympic medal count has doubled from 2 to 4 medals and the World Championship medal count has also doubled from 7 to 14.

For his efforts in skiing and cycling, Mr. Weisel was awarded the Olympic Foundation Steinbrenner Award in 2011.

In 2017, U.S. Ski & Snowboard created an endowed coaching chair position in honor of Mr. Weisel. The Thomas Weisel Head Alpine Coach Endowment was generously funded and created by several of Mr. Weisel’s friends to commemorate his contributions to the sport.