In 2001, he founded the Level Field Fund, which is dedicated to giving disadvantaged children the financial resources they need to train and succeed in sport—the same resources he said he was given by members of his community as a promising snowboarder growing up in a single-parent household.
Powers said he participates in several events a year to bring in funds, which are then distributed to young athletes each quarter.
"We raise money to help kids get to events, so that they have a fair chance," said Powers. "Since we've started it, we've given out about a half million dollars."
The curler: An 'average guy' pays his own way
Shawn Rojeski is a quality manager for Lakehead Constructors, a construction company in Virginia, Minn. He also happens to be an Olympic bronze medalist.
Rojeski participated in the 2006 Turin Games as a member of the U.S. Olympic curling team, the first and only American team so far to win a medal in a sport known for its chess-like, stone-sliding strategy and post-match drinking sessions.
Rojeski said he can feel the impact that his team's trip to the podium has had on the popularity of curling in the U.S.
"The popularity is going through the roof," said Rojeski. "I think when everybody was watching our time in the Olympics, I think they were really able to see that there are four average athletes who wouldn't be considered professionals, who are just average guys, and are now Olympic medalists."
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Being "average" means that Rojeski, who still trains and competes with members of his Olympic qualifying team from 2006, has always had to hold down full-time jobs, even while training for the Olympics. Rojeski said that his company is flexible when it comes to giving him time to train, as long as he completes his projects.
"They give us some extra time off to be able to curl," said Rojeski. "We have basically a little agreement with them that when we're traveling, we're able to do a little work on our computers, when we're in the hotel or the airport."
While Rojeski's team has been able to enlist the support of as many as four local sponsors, depending on the year, curling is not a profitable undertaking, even at the Olympic level.
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Rojeski said that his team's annual budget is $40,000 to $50,000 a year, most of which is funded entirely by team members.
Rojeski said that can mean outlays of $10,000 a year per member, who each makes less than six figures annually.
"Curling is not a moneymaking experience. We do it for the love of the sport," said Rojeski. "I have a hard time putting a price tag on the bronze medal every time I look at it, and that's what keeps me going."
—By CNBC's Adam Molon. Follow him on Twitter: @CNBCMolon.