Georges St-Pierre Takes the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Scott HarrisMMA Lead WriterAugust 20, 2014

Georges St. Pierre, of Canada, waits to begin a UFC 167 mixed martial arts championship welterweight bout against Johny Hendricks on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, in Las Vegas. St. Pierre won by split decision. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)
Isaac Brekken/Associated Press

One of MMA's biggest stars has jumped on one of the Internet's biggest trends.

Georges St-Pierre, the semi-retired longtime UFC welterweight champion, took to Twitter to document his taking of the so-called "Ice Bucket Challenge," a viral fundraiser designed to raise money for research into ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. 

To date, the Ice Bucket Challenge—in which people pour a bucket of ice water on themselves, videotape the whole thing for social media and then challenge others to do the same or donate to ALS research—has raised almost $16 million in donations for the ALS Association. By comparison, the association raised about $50,000 in the same time period last year.

I did the #ALSIceBucketChallenge but the most important part is that everyone donates:

— Georges St-Pierre (@GeorgesStPierre) August 19, 2014

St-Pierre has been relatively quiet since stepping away from the sport following a controversial decision win over Johny Hendricks last November at UFC 167.

He also had a role in the spring action film Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Ever since his semi-retirement, St-Pierre has been cagey about whether or when he might return to pro MMA competition. Widely considered the best welterweight of all time, St-Pierre (25-2) was riding a 12-fight win streak at the time he announced his hiatus. The fighter, now 33 years old, still actively trains in his native Quebec.

In March, he announced he would need surgery to repair a torn ACL. There are no concrete indications as to how or to what extent the surgery and recovery might affect any plans St-Pierre may have to return to action.

ALS affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, causing loss of motor control and eventually paralysis and death, though the mind remains clear during the entire process. There currently is no cure for ALS. Approximately 5,600 Americans are diagnosed with ALS each year, according to the ALS Association.