Joey Cheek, Living His Values

I met Joey Cheek last fall through an event sponsored by the American Democracy Institute (the folks who recently launched "I Vote, You Vote."

This tall, even-tempered, friendly guy seemed to have stature even greater than his height, and I soon learned why:

1. He's an Olympian (gold-medalist, in fact, in speedskating)

2. He's been using his window of celebrity to push for something greater than himself: awareness of Darfur.

Joey had started Team Darfur, an organization that enlisted other Olympians in promoting discussion of the atrocities in Darfur...and implicitly the responsibility of China, this year's host country.

He had donated his gold-medal bonus to the cause; but more impressively, he recognized that fame -- no matter how fleeting -- can be invested...and put to good use.

Well, Joey, you did well. If China is revoking your visa, it means you got to them -- which means you've raised awareness.

Sorry you won't be able to attend the games. But I'm proud to know there are members of the Olympic Team this year who are also members of Team Darfur.

Great Post Justin! That's

Great Post Justin! That's one of the best athlete turned activist stories I've heard.