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Tom Westman  

Winner of "Survivor: Palau"

He became well-known during the season for his natural leadership skills, strong alliance building, and dominance in physical challenges. Westman originally planned to hide behind the younger men but his tribe (Koror) was made up of enough physically weak individuals that he felt he had to step into the spotlight. Koror won every single group immunity challenge, a record, due in large part to Westman's efforts. Westman's five-person alliance with Jennifer Lyon, Katie Gallagher, Gregg Carey and Ian Rosenberger dominated the game after the merge, with five of the six making the final six and four of the five making the final four. Westman won five of the series' seven individual immunity challenges, a feat unmatched by other contestants (although Colby Donaldson won seven out of ten individual immunities in the Outback season, only one percent of challenges less than Westman).

Westman was finally targeted near the end of the season but won three back-to-back immunities, taking Gallagher to the finals and beating her on a 6-1 vote. The vote tied with the 6-1 totals in Pearl Islands and Amazon for most lopsided result ever. Although Westman was not universally popular (due to some conflicts with his friend and alliance partner Ian Rosenberger when he found out Ian had plotted against him), Westman's win still surprised and delighted many viewers who had come to expect popular and physically strong players to be cut out of the game as soon as possible.

Westman is a husband, father of three, and a New York City firefighter. He was vocally proud of his department's response to the rescue efforts of September 11, 2001, and the everyday efforts to help alleviate the suffering in New York City. Westman planned to use his winnings for home repair and his children's college education. Westman has a deaf daughter. He announced his retirement from the department effective August 8, 2005. He plans to begin a career as a motivational speaker.In May 2005 Westman launched his official website. In June 2005 Westman made TV Guide's "sexiest man" list. On June 10, 2005 the town of Sayville, New York threw a parade for Tom Westman. The County Executive declared June 10 as Tom Westman Day.On August 10, 2005 he appeared as himself on CBS daytime soap The Bold and the Beautiful, discussing pool safety.


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