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Joey

Joey CHEEK

United States of America
TeamUnited States of America
Speed SkatingSpeed Skating
Olympic Medals
1G
1S
1B
Games Participations2
First Olympic GamesSalt Lake City 2002
Year of Birth1979

Biography

Joey Cheek began speed skating in 1995 after changing from inline skating to speed skating. As an inliner, he was a junior national champion, set junior national records in the 1,500 and 3,000 metres and was a member of two junior world inline teams. Cheek competed at the 1997 and 1998 World Junior Championships in speed skating, and his first senior international appearance was at the 2000 World Sprint Championships. Until then he had been an allrounder, but soon began focusing on the sprints. In 2002, Cheek was seventh at the World Sprint Championships, but three weeks later surprised by winning the bronze medal in the 1,000 at Salt Lake City. Though Cheek was frequently on the podium he had no World Cup wins in A races until 2006, when he finally broke through and won the World Sprint Championships, followed a few weeks later by his gold medal in the Olympic 500 and silver in the Olympic 1,000.

But Cheek's accomplishments off the ice may be more impressive. After the Torino gold medal, Cheek donated his $25,000 award to the humanitarian group "Right to Play", which had been founded by former Norwegian speed skating legend Johann Olav Koss. He also donated his $15,000 from his silver medal to the same group. Cheek has founded Team Darfur, an international group of athletes committed to raising awareness about the crisis in Darfur in Sudan. He retired from skating after the Torino Winter Olympics and now attends Princeton, where he is studying economics and Chinese. Cheek was chosen by his teammates to carry the US flag at the 2006 Closing Ceremony. Cheek has stated that his goal is to be US President.

Personal Bests: 500 – 34.66 (2001) / 1:09.76 (2006); 1000 – 1:07.29 (2005); 1500 – 1:44.98 (2004); 3000 – 3:54.76 (1999); 5000 – 6:42.57 (1999); 10000 – 14:13.81 (2000); Sprint Combination – 137.975 (2005); Allround Samalog – 156.942 (2000).

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Joey CHEEK
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