Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong, Ghana's lone Winter Olympian gets wish
Ghana’s first Winter Olympian had a modest goal in the men’s slalom: Don’t finish last.
Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong, known as the “Snow Leopard,” fulfilled his goal of competing in the Olympics, completing the men’s slalom yesterday in Whistler, British Columbia, with a combined time of 2 minutes, 22.60 seconds – more than 43 seconds behind the winner but still ahead of one skier, Albania’s Erjon Tola.
As the West African nation’s first Winter Olympian came into view during his first run, spectators chanted “Snow Leopard! Snow Leopard!” Later, he waded through adoring fans, signing autographs on ski helmets and posing for pictures in his leopard-patterned ski suit.
Eye on Chile
Alpine skier Noelle Barahona of Chile is sticking around for the closing ceremonies after learning her family was safe yesterday following the devastating earthquake in her country.
Barahona actually was planning on going home yesterday, but couldn’t get a flight. The rest of the delegation still in Vancouver includes a team spokesman and a physical therapist; they heard that family and friends were OK.
Chile’s two other Olympians already had left Vancouver, one going to France and the other to Seattle.
Asked to assess her experience in the Winter Olympics, American Lindsey Vonn chose the word “interesting.”
She arrived in Vancouver as her nation’s face of the Olympics. She entered five events and looked as if she could medal in all of them. But before competition started, she announced that her shin was aching so much it hurt to put on ski boots. Weather delays helped, and Vonn won her signature event, the downhill. She earned a bronze medal in the Super-G. She later broke her right pinkie.
“My goal coming into these Games was to win one medal. And I have one gold and one bronze,” she said.