Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Joey Cheek Rocks

Joey Cheek is awesome. After winning Gold in the 500m speed skate, he told the press that he was donating his $25K from the Olympic committee to Right To Play in order to help refugees in Chad.

I liked Joey's statement because:
1) he told the press that while they wanted some Hallmark story, that wasn't going to give them one. Good for him. Americans over sentimentalize everything and it is sickening.
2) He acknowledged that what he does is enjoyable for him, but in reality is pretty "ridiculous" in the bigger scheme of things. This guy has perspective and grounding! That is to be admired.
3) Finally, he had the generosity to use his winnings to help someone else, the courage to challenge those who would sponsor him to contribute (Nike agreed to give $30K in product to children in Chad already) and the respect to tip his hat to Johann Olav Koss, his role model.

This is what the Olympics is about. And it is refreshing to know that some people understand that it isn't just abotu personal glory or the opportunity to get rich with sponsorships and promotions.


Anonymous said...

Why are our Olympic athletes getting big money prizes? I thought they were amateurs. I never realized that you got $25K for a gold.  

// posted by LTG

Anonymous said...

These guys have been getting big money for years. Think about the promotions that the two Dans (Or was it Mikes? Can't remember. They where track and field stars back in either the 1988 or 1992 Olympics.) BEFORE they actaully won anything. I think that in the end, neither ended up winning. Then there as the Dream Team that was made up of pro basketball players in off season.

The ice skaters win medals in one Olympics, go pro for a few years, then quit before entering the next Olymics.

The other thing I notice is that all the "medal contenders" have won world championships over and over again in their own sports. So tell me, what makes the Olympics so special?

So I am skeptical of the "amature" claim- at least for some sports. That is why they do the "hallmark" thing. They want to paint a compelling picture of the athlete during the Olymics, then promote him in commercials for the next 4 years. 

// posted by USWest

Anonymous said...

It's true that "amateur" athletes have for a long time depended on sponsorship etc. But I didn't realize the US Olympic committee gave an automatic prize for winning an Olympic medal. That seems to cut into the team spirit a wee bit. Why not just have a stipend for each athlete, regardless of how they do?  

// posted by LTG