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June 22, 1979 |
Greensboro, North Carolina
|Alma mater||Princeton University|
|Height||1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|Weight||79 kg (174 lb; 12.4 st)|
William Joseph "Joey" Cheek (born June 22, 1979) is an American former speed skater and inline speed skater. He was specialized in the short and middle distances. Currently he is a media entrepreneur.
In 2003 he won a bronze medal at the World Single Distance Championships in Berlin in the 1,000- and 1,500-meter events. Both distances at that tournament were won by Dutch speed skater Erben Wennemars. In 2005, Cheek made the podium for the first time in the World Sprint Championships, again behind Wennemars.
At the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, Cheek won the men's 500-meter event in dominating style, recording a two-run total time of 1:09.76. That time was 0.65 seconds faster than runner-up Dorofeyev, and Cheek was the only competitor to break the 35-second mark in the competition, doing so in both of his runs (34.82 and 34.94). Cheek's time in the first 500-meter race was an unofficial world record for the fastest 500 meters ever at an ice rink at sea level. He went on to win silver in the 1,000-meter race, finishing just behind teammate Shani Davis.
He was elected by his teammates to carry the US flag into the closing ceremonies. Near the end of NBC's coverage of the event, commentator Bob Costas noted that Cheek's application to Harvard University had not been accepted and lobbied the Dean of Admissions to reconsider the decision. Cheek has since graduated from Princeton University.
Cheek was born in Greensboro, North Carolina. He picked up speed skating after meeting and watching neighborhood friend Bryan Anderson skate around the neighborhood training for Nationals. After years of skating with Bryan, his brother, and other Piedmont skaters he switched to ice speed skating.
Cheek attended James B. Dudley High School in Greensboro, North Carolina, and graduated from Princeton University as a member of the class of 2011, where he studied economics and the Chinese language.
In 2010, Cheek was inducted into the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame because of his humanitarian work with Team Darfur.
At a press conference after the Olympic 500-meter race, Cheek said that he decided to donate his USOC gold medal bonus ($25,000) to Right to Play, an athlete-driven international humanitarian organization formed by former Olympic champion Johann Olav Koss of Norway. Cheek challenged others to make similar pledges to the organization. He subsequently donated his prize money from the 1,000-meter race ($15,000) to the same organization.
Since his donation others have joined in and over $390,000 has been contributed to this cause.
|Men's speed skating|
|500 m||34.66||2001-12-19||Salt Lake City, Utah|
|1000 m||1:07.29||2001-12-18||Salt Lake City, Utah|
|1500 m||1:44.98||2004-12-21||Salt Lake City, Utah|
|3000 m||3:54.76||1999-11-26||Calgary, Canada|
|5000 m||6:42.57||1999-11-28||Calgary, Canada|
|10000 m||14:13.81||2000-01-16||Calgary, Canada|