Winter Olympic gold-medalist denied entry into China

2006 Olympic hero Joey Cheek is not welcomed at China's Olympic Games. via facebook

Joey Cheek was a speed-skating Olympic champion at the 2006 in Turin, Italy, winning a gold medal for the 500m and a silver in the 1000m. Still, the athlete is not welcome at the just-underway summer games in Beijing.

Hours before Cheek was to depart for China, the co-founder of Team Darfur -- an organization to unite Olympic athletes in solidarity against the genocide in Sudan -- discovered that his visa had been revoked by the Chinese government.

Although Cheek was not competing in these Games, he was heading over to support his fellow athletes -- and to convince the international community to pressure the authorities in Darfur into a calling a truce during the Beijing Games.

Over the past few days, Cheek has publicly expressed his disappointment in the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which he feels does not adequately protect its athletes. In addition, Cheek has made it clear that he had not planned on staging any Team Darfur protests; still, he wanted to be there to advocate for the cause.

But Cheek can easily look on the bright side: With all the attention that he's received for his revoked visa, Team Darfur has certainly been able to broadcast its mission around the world. Now the question is, will the world's leaders gathered in China and watching the games Do Something about the situation? Stay tuned.

What do YOU think about athletes taking a stand, and/or the games and the situation in Darfur? Make your COMMENT count right here!