Originally Posted by Canadian Press
Hughes donating $10,000 to Right to Play
TORINO, Italy (CP-AP) - Clara Hughes won't receive a cash bonus for her Olympic gold medal, but that didn't stop her from being charitable.
The Winnipeg speedskater, who won the women's 5,000-metre long-track event Saturday, said she'll donate $10,000 to Right to Play, an organization that improves the plight of children in impoverished, war-torn areas.
Her announcement comes after American speedskater Joey Cheek donated his winnings from two medals - $25,000 US for gold, $15,000 for silver - to the charity created by Norway's one-time speedskating star Johann Olav Koss.
American athletes earn bonuses for Olympic medals, unlike Canadian athletes.
"I wish I had an Olympic bonus to give like Joey Cheek, but I don't," Hughes said after her victory. So, she said, she's decided to give the $10,000 in her bank account.
"I challenge all Canadians. Even if it's $5, $10, $20. A little bit goes a long way," Hughes said.
The U.S. Olympic Committee announced it will donate $40,000 to Right to Play, matching the amount given by Cheek.
"It does wonderful work," said Jim Scherr, USOC chief executive officer, at a Saturday news conference where the gift was announced.
Right to Play was launched six years ago, and has 40 projects in 20 countries across Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The charity has already aided more than 500,000 children.
Cheek's original donation has already been matched by a number of companies and individuals, with a total of more than $390,000 pledged by the end of Saturday, the USOC said.