Greensboro honored hometown Olympic hero Joey Cheek Thursday with a number of activities throughout the city. The culmination of the day’s events was a public celebration held at First Horizon Park in downtown Greensboro. The event featured a number of speakers, a video about Cheek shown on the Jumbotron and, of course, a brief speech by Cheek himself. The crowd, many of which were children, were treated to a performance by the Dudley High School Marching Band before Cheek arrived on the field in a brand new red Corvette. WFMY’s Kent Bates and the Greensboro Grasshoppers’ Spaz served as the Masters of Ceremony for the evening. Among those who spoke, included Mayor Keith Holliday and Cheek’s parents and former coach. When Cheek spoke, his comments were directed mostly toward the children in the audience, telling them the importance of hard work and giving back once you achieve your goals. Once the speaking ended, the evening was capped off with a fireworks display set to patriotic music. Cheek stayed long after the event, signing autographs and allowing fans to take his picture. Cheek’s stay in Greensboro will be brief as he leaves for Washington, DC on Friday.
A number of area sports supporters were seen around First Horizon Park on Thursday night including Grasshopper’s GM Donald Moore, YES Weekly Writer Ogi Overman and Gate City super fan “The Fan Man”. “The Fan Man” could be heard throughout the ball park with his familiar clapping and positive encouragement for Cheek. Much credit should be given to WFMY and the Grasshoppers’ organization for putting together a first class event to honor a first class guy in Cheek.
Below is a collage of pictures taken by GreensboroSports.com at Thursday night’s event.