FanDuel - WFBC

February 14, 2006

An Olympic champion donates prize money.: US speedskater Joey Cheek will donate the US$25,000 he will receive from the US Olympic Committee for his victory to Right to Play, an athlete-driven charity organization, with the money earmarked for the battle-ravaged Darfur region. "I can take the time to sit up here and gush or I can do something worthwhile."

posted by NoMich to other at 02:35 PM - 30 comments

You can even kick in more moolah here.

posted by NoMich at 02:39 PM on February 14

Oh, how excellent is this.

posted by chicobangs at 02:50 PM on February 14

Pfffft. PR move! PR move! PR move! Steinbrenner has got his fingerprints all over this. I'm not super connected or anything, but for sure Cheek is selling Yankee tickets. You know it.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:55 PM on February 14

awesome

posted by Yvonnne at 02:56 PM on February 14

Is it me, or is the difference between these young skiers, skaters, and boarders and your average athlete pretty significant? I was struck too by Shawn White's post victory interview - he just seemed like a great kid/guy. Maybe there's hope for us yet...

posted by sfts2 at 03:21 PM on February 14

Ok not tosound like I'm an asshole or something because I do think this is a great gesture, but why not donate it to a charity right here in the country that sent him to Turin.

posted by scottypup at 04:11 PM on February 14

There isn't really any genocide going on in the U.S. Did you look at Mich's link to Darfur information? It is pretty self-explanatory.

posted by bperk at 04:13 PM on February 14

So because there is no genocide going on in the US then that means there is no one needing or worthy domestic charities? I understand what is going on in Darfur my point is we spend more money over seas helping other countries than we do in the US.

posted by scottypup at 04:40 PM on February 14

Not meaning to change the subject and I guess it shows how naive I am, but I did not even know that the athletes got money for winning. I guess it shows how far the Olympics have come from being a competition of amateurs.

posted by graymatters at 05:06 PM on February 14

So because there is no genocide going on in the US then that means there is no one needing or worthy domestic charities? I understand what is going on in Darfur my point is we spend more money over seas helping other countries than we do in the US. Obviously, Cheek believes that we are all members of the human race. A charitable cause's worth is not based solely on whether those being helped are Americans. This need not be a U.S. vs. the rest of the world issue. Humans respond to crises. Darfur is a pretty major one.

posted by bperk at 05:11 PM on February 14

I'ts good to see someone who isn't greedy and run with the money. How many other athletes would pocket it ? And on the other side, If they won it they can do what they want with it.

posted by what the? at 06:19 PM on February 14

Well, that bperk, and the fact scottypup is obviously a collosal ignoramus. Less than 1% of the US federal budget goes on international aid. And the situation in Dafur makes, say, New Orleans during Katrina look like paradise.

posted by rodgerd at 06:26 PM on February 14

I understand what is going on in Darfur my point is we spend more money over seas helping other countries than we do in the US Sorry. The US currently ranks bottom of the world league table for Official Development Assistance (i.e. foreign aid), providing only 0.17 per cent of Gross National Income. Most western countries are way ahead of this, however the internationally agreed target of 0.7 per cent has been reached by only a few. Source: Development Assistance Committee of the OECD - www.oecd.org. Check out the stats page if you don't believe me.

posted by owlhouse at 07:57 PM on February 14

I understand what is going on in Darfur my point is we spend more money over seas helping other countries than we do in the US. You have no idea what you're talking about. The United States spends less than one percent of our GDP on foreign aid, and significantly more on programs that benefit Americans. Don't shoot off at the mouth without knowing what you're talking about, and don't just take the crap politicians tell you and accept it as the gospel. Use your freaking brain for something more than a hat rack.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 08:03 PM on February 14

I guess it shows how far the Olympics have come from being a competition of amateurs Just to clarify, the money is being awarded by the USOC -- there are no prizes or appearance fees handed out by the IOC or the Olympic organizers. Many countries reward their athletes when they win medals, and the US is one.

posted by Amateur at 08:21 PM on February 14

Many countries reward their athletes when they win medals, and the US is one. Or when they don't compete.

posted by grum@work at 08:49 PM on February 14

Why Darfur, and why this particular organization? From the Yahoo news article: Cheek's role model is former Norwegian speedskater Johan-Olaf Koss, who made a similar contribution in 1994 when the program was called Olympic Aid.

posted by NoMich at 09:15 PM on February 14

What I meant to say before I was distracted by the issue of aid data, was that what this guy has done is fantastic. Not just the donation (which is a serious thing for what is essentially an amateur or ill-paid sport) but the publicity that it gives to Darfur. Hopefully the attention will lead to peace efforts and greater donations of assistance. I dips me lid.

posted by owlhouse at 09:51 PM on February 14

grum, that is un-fucking-believable. Thanks for the link. (although I thought it was going to lead me to a story about how the US paid somebody not to compete)

posted by Amateur at 09:55 PM on February 14

However, in the Swimming World Champs in Rome in 1994, a German swimmer (400 women's freestyle I think) finished 9th in qualifying and then paid one of the lower ranked finalists to withdraw. She went on to either win or get a medal. Her name escapes me (even after googling) but it was something like Althammer. Anyone know the details? In any case the swimmer who took the money shrugged and said she couldn't win anyway, so the cash was good compensation.

posted by owlhouse at 11:38 PM on February 14

scottypup, just have to ask where you sent your relief contributions since you seem to criticize other poeples good will and deeds....I sent mine to the tsunami victims. I pay taxes for Katrina and do not feel bad for not giving because our government screwed up which is more obvious everyday....

posted by gfinsf at 06:03 AM on February 15

Let's see off the top of my head about 1/4 of it went to the local battered womens shelter (not including my donated time helping to remodel their house), Maybe another 1/4 of it went to the the local Habitat for Humanity. Another big chunk went to the Make a Wish Foundation. The balance went to local United Way type charities within the community. Obviously many of you are to stupid to understand my point. I didn't say the US government spends more I said the US meaning private citizens. No matter just remember when it is your sister who wants help at the women's shelter or your child has Leukemia and wants a last vacation and there is now money in these orginizations that your money went overseas.

posted by scottypup at 08:29 AM on February 15

So we have gotten to the point where we criticize HOW people spend their charitable time and money? Lets all take a moment for a deep look inside ourselves right now, shall we?

posted by sfts2 at 08:46 AM on February 15

I don't have any sisters and I don't have any children. Where Mr. Cheek donates his money and/or time isn't really any of our business, rather, I just thought it was a great show of selflessness on his part. Good show, Joey. And I cannot believe that people are getting into a penis size contest over charitable donations.

posted by NoMich at 08:47 AM on February 15

I never said it wasn't a great gesture it is. Much better that he donate it SOMEWHERE than not at all. NoMich obviously you are one of the lucky few people in the world who not only never has any hard tmes but also has no family or friends who have or will either. I'm happy your so fortunate. Most are not.

posted by scottypup at 08:50 AM on February 15

Dude, you need a little sense of perspective. Comparing the troubles of home to Darfur is like comparing apples and ICBMs. I fail to see how any of Cheek's actions can be criticized in good conscience. I also fail to see why your charitable efforts are any more worthwhile. I mean, I've heard of moral relativism, but that's fucking bananas.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:24 AM on February 15

Put down the cigarette for a minute and read what I wrote. Not once did I say anything was wrong with Cheeks donation.

posted by scottypup at 09:29 AM on February 15

I really admire what Mr. Cheek has done!However we have a lot of homeless people right here in the U.S.A. that need help. If everyone in the U.S.A. contributed a small amount of money to helping the poor in our nation, we could help a lot of our own people. So insted of worrying about what Mr. Cheek is doing, maybe we (I'm included.) should be looking at what we can do. It may not be very much but every little bit helps.

posted by steelerchooks at 10:05 AM on February 15

Not once did I say anything was wrong with Cheeks donation. No, you just said, "I do think this is a great gesture, but..." That infers criticism, and your belligerence since making that comment simply reinforces your original impression. Plus, anytime you have to preface your comments with "not to sound like I'm an asshole or something," chances are you're going to sound like an asshole. I'm just sayin'.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 10:11 AM on February 15

Put down the cigarette for a minute and read what I wrote. Okay. I do think this is a great gesture, but why not donate it to a charity right here in the country that sent him to Turin. So because there is no genocide going on in the US then that means there is no one needing or worthy domestic charities? No matter just remember when it is your sister who wants help at the women's shelter or your child has Leukemia and wants a last vacation and there is now money in these orginizations that your money went overseas. Seems pretty clear that you questioned the validity of the donation when compared to other options within the US. You are the only one who made such a claim and the responses to you seem to be pretty consistent. Maybe you should read what you wrote.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 10:51 AM on February 15

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