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Skating Faster

Aug. 31, 2009
Aug. 31, 2009

Table of Contents
Aug. 31, 2009

GOLF PLUS
LEADING OFF
Inside: THE WEEK IN SPORTS
TRACK AND FIELD
  • As stunning as his performance was in Beijing, Usain Bolt topped it at the world championships in Berlin by crushing his records in the 100 and 200 meters and stretching the boundaries of possibility in his sport

BASEBALL
PRO FOOTBALL
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Skating Faster

Back in June, Joey Cheek spent the weekend of his 30th birthday with a rumbling stomach. The 2006 Olympic speedskating champ was participating in a fasting chain, started by actress Mia Farrow, in solidarity with the starving people in Darfur. Cheek, who had been involved in the cause for several years and had visited refugee camps in Chad, had never before gone more than a few waking hours without eating. "It's a valuable thing to experience what people who aren't as fortunate as we are experience every day," he says.

This is an article from the Aug. 31, 2009 issue

Now that he's retired from competition and a junior at Princeton, Cheek's life is a far cry from that of the athlete whose daily routine involved consuming 5,000 calories and training for hours on the ice. Cheek spends most of his time in economics and Chinese classes (he is conversational in Mandarin) and campaigning on behalf of international humanitarian issues. After donating his Turin medal winnings ($25,000) to Right to Play, a youth sports organization, Cheek cofounded Team Darfur, a worldwide coalition of athletes dedicated to promoting awareness of, and ending, the bloodshed in the Sudanese region. "Athletes reach a community that otherwise might not be interested in an issue that has political connotations," he says. "It's hard to live that life and not realize there's much more than just what happens in our own backyard."

PHOTOALEX WONG/GETTY IMAGES (CHEEK)OLYMPIAN EFFORT Cheek (with Farrow in '06) has raised awareness for Darfur.