Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Olympic Speedskating and Darfur

U.S. gold medalist Joey Cheek has announced he will donate all of his $25,000 award (from the U.S. Olympic Committee) to a foundation providing aid to children injured by the war in Darfur, Sudan. Cheek actually had a prepared statement, apparently drafted the night before his race. Talk about confidence! Still, his heart is obviously in the right place and his announcement is a nice reminder of how the Olympics could be about more than just medal counts and future commercial endorsements. It could also be about recognizing the interconnectedness of individuals across national boundaries - in this case, the connection is sports.

Cheek seems like an interesting guy. According to his bio website, "In his spare time, Cheek enjoys playing the guitar, producing movies with fellow skaters, Kip and Cory Carpenter, and online investing. After skating is over, he would like to attend law school and begin a successful law practice in his native North Carolina." One of the coolest future lawyers out there.


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