Joey Cheek: "Golden" Role Model

Discussion in 'Sports' started by Adam's Apple, Mar 7, 2006.

  1. Adam's Apple
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    Adam's Apple Senior Member

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    One Boasts He Rocked in Turin, But the Other is Rocking the World
    By Jonathan Gurwitz, San Antonio Express-News
    March 6, 2006

    Bode Miller and sponsors, meet Joey Cheek. In Turin, he skated away with the gold medal in the men's 500 meters.

    Then a remarkable thing happened. Cheek seized the machine of instant fame and forced its gears to turn in the opposite direction. "I've always felt that if I ever did something big like this I wanted to be prepared to give something back," he said at a news conference after his victory.

    "I do a pretty ridiculous thing. I skate around in tights. But because I skated well, and because I now have a few seconds of microphone time, I have the ability to hopefully raise some awareness and raise some money and maybe, God willing, put some kids on a path that I've been blessed with."

    At that, Cheek donated his $25,000 gold medal bonus from the U.S. Olympic Committee to Right to Play, a humanitarian organization founded by Olympic great Johann Olav Koss of Norway. Right to Play uses sports as a tool for childhood development in some of the most blighted locations on the globe.

    Cheek earmarked his donation to help children from the Darfur region of Sudan. And he called on his corporate sponsors and other Olympians to make similar pledges. Cheek added another $15,000, his bonus for winning the silver medal in the 1,000 meters. Last week, Cheek's $25,000 seed had blossomed into more than $400,000 in donations to Right to Play.

    Cheek has not claimed to have written an autobiography. He has no video game contracts. And his successes in Turin have garnered him far less media attention than others with equal or lesser laurels. And Cheek hasn't disclosed whether his partying reached Olympic levels.

    But Cheek, for a few moments, silenced the hype and hysteria of athletic hero worship and the glorification of self. And in doing so, he restored a good measure of the Olympic character — and the human spirit — to the Olympic Games.

    "It is empowering to think of someone other than yourself," he said at his news conference.

    Over the course of 69.76 seconds, Cheek turned in an impressive competitive performance on the ice in Turin. He, like fellow Olympian Koss, is making a more significant showing in the struggle to be human.

    For full article:
    http://www.jewishworldreview.com/jonathan/gurwitz030606.php3
     
  2. NATO AIR
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    NATO AIR Senior Member

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    Joey Cheek is the man, I posted about this twice before, I can't think of a better role model for young athletes to aspire to emulate. Also makes me very proud to be an American, that we still have good athletes who view the world as more than just a stage for their silly antics.
     
  3. Adam's Apple
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    Adam's Apple Senior Member

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    I like how Jonathan Gurwitz, one of my favorite writers, contrasted Cheek to Miller in his article. Too bad there aren't more Joey Cheeks in the sports world as role models for young athletes; but, alas, the self-centered, over-rated Bode Miller types dominate.
     
  4. NATO AIR
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    NATO AIR Senior Member

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    I think there are many Joey Cheeks out there, but they are drowned out in the media and our attention by the Bode Miller types.

    J.A. Anande had a fantastic piece in the LAT about Joey Cheek and the power of hope and dreams that he represents. This piece is also exceptional :teeth:
     
  5. Adam's Apple
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    Adam's Apple Senior Member

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