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Feb27
Joey Cheek Inspires Clara Hughes and Us All
I guess you could say Joey Cheek had a successful Olympics. He glowed about the opening ceremonies and the opportunity to meet President Bush. He then went outJoey cheek AP.jpg and garnered a gold medal in the 500 meters and a silver medal in the 1,000 meters. Not bad for the speedskater from Park City, Utah. As if that wouldn't be enough to write home about, he was elected by the U.S. team to carry the American flag during the Closing Ceremony of the Winter Olympics Sunday night.

"I feel like I'm not really worthy,'' he said. "It's a wonderful honor and I'm thrilled that it happened.''

He has plenty to tell his grandkids about right?

Perhaps greater than his speed on the ice is his leadership and inspiration. Cheeks won our admiration by donating his USOC bonus of $40,000 to former speed skater Johann Olav Koss's humanitarian organization, Right to Play .
 
I call Joey Cheeks a leader because he set his own course and inspired and empowered others to follow. On February 25th, clara hughes.jpg2006 Clara Hughes, a Canadian speedskater and Olympic cyclist, inspired by Joey’s generosity and example, pledged to donate $10,000 to the same cause after winning her own Gold medal in the 5,000 meter race

This gift, although not as large of an amount as Cheek’s, perhaps represents even more goodness. Canada does not provide gold medal bonuses. Clara’s gift comes right out of her savings.

"I wish I had an Olympic bonus to give like Joey Cheek, but I don't," Hughes said after her victory. So, she said, she's decided to give the $10,000 in her bank account.

She went further. "I challenge all Canadians. Even if it's $5, $10, $20. A little bit goes a long way," Hughes said.

The U.S. Olympic Committee announced it will donate $40,000 to Right to Play, matching the amount given by Cheek.

Cheeks and Hughes (and others) provided not only inspiring performances on the ice but also revealed their goodness as people. These are good acts to follow. As of the closing ceremonies, Cheek's original donation had been matched by a number of companies and individuals, with a total of more than $390,000.

Good work Joey and don’t worry about Harvard, its loss is the world’s gain.

Photo credit Associated Press.

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» Winter Sports and Entrepreneurship from MidMarketMaven
Hal Halladay writes today about examples of leadership from the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino.  There is much an entrepreneur can draw from the examples of great Olympians that can be applied in both life and entrepreneurship. Hal talks especiall... [Read More]

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