Joey Cheek, an Olympic gold medalist and active philanthropist, was the 2006 recipient of the Heisman Humanitarian Award. In 2006, after winning the gold medal in the men’s 500 speed skating competition, Cheek promised to donate his gold medal bonus ($25,000) to the Right to Play Organization. The international humanitarian organization promotes sports as an outlet and tool to aid in the development of children living in underprivileged countries.
Right To Play programs are currently being implemented in 23 countries throughout the world. Right To Play uses sports as a way to teach children about teamwork, fair play, conflict resolution, self-esteem, communication, commitment, respect, and integrity. Right To Play is committed to improving the lives of children and to strengthening their communities by translating the best practices of sport and play into opportunities to promote development, health and peace.
Cheek joined other athletes in support of this cause and has also co-founded his own philanthropy, Team Darfur, with UCLA water polo player Brad Greiner. Team Darfur is an international coalition of athletes committed to raising awareness about and bringing an end to the crisis in Darfur, Sudan. Cheek is a 2001 graduate of Princeton University, where he studied economics and Chinese.
To learn more about Cheek and Team Darfur please visit:http://www.teamdarfur.org/joeycheek