Having represented the Netherlands and the United States of America (USA), over the past years, Akwasi Frimpong, US based Dutch-Ghanaian skeletoner, has said now wants to achieve something great for his country of birth.
Frimpong has qualified to represent Ghana in the Winter Olympics due for Pyeongchang in South Korea later 2018.
In an interview with the GNA Sports, Frimpong said at the age of 31, he has realised that he has not done anything for his country of birth and that this is the right time.
He said, he is excited he is about fulfilling his long cherished dream of representing his country as an Olympian.
“I had done a lot for the Netherlands, and in the USA, where I currently live, but at the age of 31, I realized I have not done anything for the country. Now I am about fulfilling my 15 years dream of becoming an Olympian and also I’m impacting millions of people in Ghana, especially the youth to go after their wildest dream”. Frimpong Said.
Skeleton is not a popular sport in the western part of Africa, therefore Frimpong’s qualification has surprised many people on the continent.
When asked about the reasons for his choice of sport, Frimpong said he was highly motivated by his Dutch Bobsled coach, a couple of years ago to try skeleton.
“Due to my sprinting background as a former Dutch 200m youth champion. My Dutch bobsled coach told me to give skeleton a try after I missed the summer Olympics with the Dutch 4x100m in 2012 and 2014 with the Dutch bobsled team.
“She told me skeleton will fit because of my speed, it’s an individual sport and I have my own dream in hand. The first 50 m, you need speed to push the sled before diving on it, so I gave it a shot.” Frimpong said.
The GoldSprint, as he is affectionately called, has expressed gratitude to the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC) and his sponsor “Cocoa from Ghana” for their immense support so far.
“The GOC has been a great partner by endorsing me to represent Ghana. I’m excited to work together with them in Pyeongchang. Our new president, Ben Nunoo Mensah is a wonderful man.
“I am also grateful to have Cocoa from Ghana step into my life as an athlete when it was needed the most. Their support has definitely helped me focus on qualifying for the Games and becoming a better skeleton athlete. I’m now ready to represent Ghana for the first time in history in the skeleton event at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games”. He said.
According to Akwasi Frimpong, he was excited about the congratulatory messages he has received from Ghanaians and many other people all over the world after his inspirational story.
He believes that his experience in this year’s Winter Olympics would propel him to go for Gold come 2022.
“The 2022 Winter Olympics games was my initial goal. In 2022 I want to win Ghana’s first Olympic gold medal. The 2018 Pyeongchang Olympic Games is for the experience, to break barriers as the first black male skeleton athlete in the history of the Winter Olympics and to gain experience for 2022.
“I want to tell my people that If failure was the only last step there wouldn’t be something called success. It’s okay to fail, but always get up and move forward, you will be surprised with what you can achieve if you don’t give up. My dreams took me 15 years.” Frimpong added.
The skeletoner would be the second athlete to have represented Ghana in the winter Olympics after Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong appeared at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.