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Olympics Archives, Page 1 of 1
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Mar17
Peter Vidmar - Speaker, Champion, Author
I was at the home of Peter Vidmar, Olympic Gold Medalist, a few weeks past for a dinner party. I had never met Peter before but I remember 1984 when he earned a “perfect 10” on the pommel horse at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles and led the US team to its first gold medal and unexpected upset of the Chinese team. I was a junior at the University of Utah but headed for L.A. to work as a security officer at the Olympics. For me it was a memorable experience to be around the games, for Peter, it was the pinnacle of his gymnastics career and provided the platform for his professional career.
ROV.jpg
Peter and I were talking about leadership and the motivational and inspirational speaking engagements he provides to corporate meetings and trade shows. Peter was kind enough to let me take his book, Risk, Originality & Virtuosity: The Keys to a Perfect 10.

Risk, originality and virtuosity were the elements and basis for scoring in gymnastics in 1984. Vidmar has taken these elements and applied them as important ingredients for success in any endeavor. He shares his athletic and life experiences and uses the elements of ROV as measurements of achievement and has trademarked this concept.
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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.
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Feb24
Joey Cheek Press Conference
Several readers have asked me if I could publish Joey Cheek's press conference from February 14.  I think this is his complete statement.

"I have always felt if I ever do something big like this I want to be able to give something back. I love what I do; it's great fun, but honestly, it's a pretty ridiculous thing, I skate around in tights. If you keep it in perspective, I've trained my whole life for this but it's not that big a deal.

But because I skated well I have a few seconds of microphone time. And I know how news cycles work. Tomorrow there will be another gold medalist. So I can either gush how wonderful I feel or use it for something.

So I am donating the entire (winning) sum the USOC gives me ($25,000) to an organization, 'Right to Play,' that Johan Olav Koss (the Norwegian icon who won three gold medals in 1994 in Lillehammer) either started or gave to in 1994. It helps refugees in Chad, where there are over 60,000 persons displaced from their homes. I am going to be asking all of the Olympic sponsors if they will match my donation.

In Sudan, there have been tens of thousands of people killed. My government has labeled it genocide. Hopefully, if we can stabilize the region, with U.N. or U.S. pressure, we can go in and start programs for refugees there.

Johan has lived his life in a manner I hope to live my life. I can only hope to fit in his large shoes."
Feb14
Joey Cheek's Medal and Heart of Gold
A leader is certainly someone that sets her or his own course. A leader also inspires and empowers others to follow. Joey Cheek, recent Gold Medal winner at the Turin games fits the description. As reported by NPR:
Joey Cheek.jpg
“American speed skater Joey Cheek did something very unusual after winning the 500 meter race at the Winter Olympics. He announced he's contributing his $25,000 gold medal award from the U.S. Olympic Committee to refugees from Darfur. And he urged Olympic sponsors to support the same relief effort.”

Come to find out, Joey was inspired to do so by another leader and Olympic speedskating champion.

“Cheek is following in the long strides of Johann Olav Koss, the Norwegian speedskater who won three gold medals at the 1994 Games in Lillehammer. Koss, who is now a physician, donated much of his Olympic bonus money to children who were victims of the fighting in Sarajevo. The Bosnian capital was the host city of the 1984 Winter Olympics. Koss went on to start a humanitarian effort called Right to Play, which seeks to provide a bit of normal childhood -- games and sports equipment, visits from athletes -- to kids living in refugee camps.”

Cheek drew inspiration from Koss, in his sport and in life. "I thought maybe I could walk a little in his rather large shoes,'' said Cheek.  He met Koss a few days ago.

Koss demonstrated that importance in life neither ends nor begins with the Olympics. Cheek hopes to inspire also. He said, “tomorrow there is another gold medalist, and the day after there is another gold medalist. So if they do what I do, who knows what is going to happen.”

Exactly. Who knows? I am sure Joey Cheek has already inspired thousands. In a world and media dominated by the likes of Terrell Owens and other egoist superstars, I appreciate Johann Olav Koss and Joey Cheek.

Photo found on NBCOlymics.  Hat tip to a few bloggers out there that kept this story going  Aimlessly Wandering and Random Ravings.

Olympics Archives, Page 1 of 1
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