Rahal Appointed Chairman of USA Bobsled & Skeleton Foundation

BALTIMORE, Md. (August 31, 2012)-Today the U.S. Bobsled & Skeleton Feder­a­tion (USBSF) was honored to announce the appoint­ment of Robert “Bobby” Rahal as chairman of the recently launched USA Bobsled & Skeleton Foun­da­tion (USABSF) during a press confer­ence at the Balti­more Grand Prix in Balti­more, Md. USBSF CEO Darrin Steele initi­ated the foun­da­tion more than two years ago, and has focused on iden­ti­fying a chairman to lead the USABSF before the offi­cial launch.

It took more time than we wanted to start this program because we insisted on waiting for the right person to lead it,” Steele said.  “Bobby Rahal was defi­nitely worth the wait.”

In addi­tion to making a personal contri­bu­tion to the USABSF, Rahal is charged with actively iden­ti­fying addi­tional foun­da­tion prospects to assist with fundraising and devel­op­ment of the sport on a national level.

I’m obvi­ously thrilled to be asked to be the chairman of the USA Bobsled and Skeleton Foun­da­tion,” Rahal said.  “I have always been a great fan of Olympic sport and have loved watching Amer­ican athletes compete against the best the world has to offer.  I am committed to doing every­thing I can do to ensure that the USA Bobsled and Skeleton team continues their record of success, having won Olympic medals in the last three Winter Olympic Games.”

Rahal was one of open wheel racing’s most consis­tent drivers during his 18-year career.  He notched three CART cham­pi­onships, including a win at the 1986 Indy 500, along with wins at the 1981 24 Hours of Daytona and the 1987 12 Hours of Sebring endurance races.  Rahal is a prin­cipal in Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, where he has over­seen the growth of the team from a one-car program to a multi-car, multi-discipline orga­ni­za­tion.  He is also respon­sible for finding and devel­oping some of the top young talent in open-wheel racing.

Rahal under­stands the busi­ness of racing, he under­stands the athletes and compe­ti­tion, and he knows how to win,” Steele said.  “He wants to help our athletes do well at the Olympic Games, and we are fortu­nate to have someone with his kind of exper­tise and success on this team.”

All great Olympic teams have a support team, and the USBSF athletes can feel an addi­tional sense of support and confi­dence knowing that a proven winner will be on our side helping the feder­a­tion take on the diffi­cult task of fundraising,” added two-time World Cham­pion and Olympic gold medalist Curt Toma­se­vicz, who attended the announce­ment.  “Bobby Rahal has a repu­ta­tion of being successful in
compet­i­tive racing, and his involve­ment will be a great asset as we try to opti­mize the success of the feder­a­tion at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.”

The USABSF will operate as a sepa­rate 501c3 to support USA Bobsled & Skeleton programs.  Poten­tial areas the USABSF will fund include tech­no­log­ical advance­ments, youth programs, athlete career tran­si­tion and direct athlete support.

BMW, a sponsor of both USBSF and BMW Team RLL, sched­uled a meeting between Steele and Rahal during a race in Sebring, Fla. in March 2011 so the two teams could collab­o­rate and share best prac­tices.  Steele met with Rahal again before the Indy 500 this summer, where they discussed Rahal’s poten­tial role in the creation of the USABSF.

After meeting Rahal, it was clear that he fit the profile of the kind of person we were looking for,” Steele said.  “I knew we needed him on our team.  He was on board to help us right away.”

With the USABSF offi­cially launched, Rahal will begin recruiting board members to help the USBSF main­tain its history of success through 2014 and beyond.  The U.S. team has collected nine medals over the last three Olympic Games, and is once again the favorite to win gold in Sochi, Russia.

The goal between now and the 2014 Olympic Games is to have eight to ten rock stars on the foun­da­tion that can have an imme­diate impact on the team,” Steele said.  “Now that Rahal is on board, we expect to bring in some great people rather quickly.”

Please direct media inquires to Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Commu­ni­ca­tions Director, at abird@usbsf.com or 518 – 354-2250.

About the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Feder­a­tion
The United States Bobsled and Skeleton Feder­a­tion, based in Lake Placid, N.Y., is the national governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton in the United States. The USBSF would like to thank its spon­sors, suppliers and contrib­u­tors for their support: BMW of North America, Under Armour, United States National Guard, Kamp­grounds of America, National Strength and Condi­tioning Asso­ci­a­tion, Vivat!, Global Forwarding, KBC Helmets, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Autism Speaks, Park City Lodging, EDAS/Ripxx, UberSense, Tesa Tape and Ferris Mfg. Corp. For more infor­ma­tion, please visit the USBSF website at http://bobsled.teamusa.org.