Joey Cheek

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 1
Bronze 1
Total 3
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameWilliam Joseph N. "Joey"•Cheek
Used nameJoey•Cheek
Born22 June 1979 in Greensboro, North Carolina (USA)
Measurements185 cm / 79 kg
NOC United States


Joey Cheek began speed skating in 1995 after changing from inline skating to speed skating. As an inliner, he was a junior national champion, set junior national records in the 1,500 and 3,000 metres and was a member of two junior world inline teams. Cheek competed at the 1997 and 1998 World Junior Championships in speed skating, and his first senior international appearance was at the 2000 World Sprint Championships. Until then he had been an allrounder, but soon began focusing on the sprints. In 2002, Cheek was seventh at the World Sprint Championships, but three weeks later surprised by winning the bronze medal in the 1,000 at Salt Lake City. Though Cheek was frequently on the podium he had no World Cup wins in A races until 2006, when he finally broke through and won the World Sprint Championships, followed a few weeks later by his gold medal in the Olympic 500 and silver in the Olympic 1,000.

But Cheek’s accomplishments off the ice may be more impressive. After the Torino gold medal, Cheek donated his $25,000 award to the humanitarian group “Right to Play”, which had been founded by former Norwegian speed skating legend Johann Olav Koss. He also donated his $15,000 from his silver medal to the same group. Cheek has founded Team Darfur, an international group of athletes committed to raising awareness about the crisis in Darfur in Sudan. He retired from skating after the Torino Winter Olympics and now attends Princeton, where he is studying economics and Chinese. Cheek was chosen by his teammates to carry the US flag at the 2006 Closing Ceremony. Cheek has stated that his goal is to be US President.

Personal Bests: 500 – 34.66 (2001) / 1:09.76 (2006); 1000 – 1:07.29 (2005); 1500 – 1:44.98 (2004); 3000 – 3:54.76 (1999); 5000 – 6:42.57 (1999); 10000 – 14:13.81 (2000); Sprint Combination – 137.975 (2005); Allround Samalog – 156.942 (2000).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
2002 Winter Olympics Speed Skating (Skating) USA Joey Cheek
500 metres, Men (Olympic) 6
1,000 metres, Men (Olympic) 3 Bronze
1,500 metres, Men (Olympic) 4
2006 Winter Olympics Speed Skating (Skating) USA Joey Cheek
500 metres, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
1,000 metres, Men (Olympic) 2 Silver
1,500 metres, Men (Olympic) 9

Other participations

Games Role NOC As
2006 Winter Olympics Flagbearer at the Closing Ceremony USA Joey Cheek

Special Notes