Skeleton athlete Akwasi Frimpong visits homeland Ghana
In partnership with Decathlon Ghana and doTERRA, Frimpong is headed to Ghana July 21 to promote the sports of bobsled and skeleton. Frimpong started the BSF- Ghana in 2016, after deciding to compete for his motherland Ghana in the sport of skeleton to help put his country on the map, and promote winter sports in Ghana. Frimpong was Ghana’s first athlete to qualify for the World Championships in skeleton.
“I am going there to build up Ghana’s place in the sport, and reach out to the Ghanaian youth there,” Frimpong said.
He will address youth at 12:30 p.m. July 28 at Lucas College in Accra, Ghana -- speaking to them about unearthing their potential through education, leadership and sports. He will then meet with other sporting hopefuls at 10 a.m. July 29 at the Accra Mall Junction, to encourage them in discovering the sport of skeleton and bobsled.
“Ghanaians have the great attributes of resilience, determination, and confidence -- and on top of that great leg speed. I think once Ghanaians learn how to steer a skeleton and drive a bobsled they can make a mark in the sport of bobsled and skeleton. And it starts with me showing others that we can do it and excel,” Frimpong said.
Besides organizing the events, Frimpong will also be visiting Ghana National Sports Authority, the Ghana Youth and Sport Ministry and the Ghana Olympic Committee, to discuss ways to work together to get more Ghanaians involved with winter sports.
“Going to Ghana after 23 years is not going to be a vacation,” he said. “I am going there to put in my best efforts to be involved and contribute to my home country. I'm mostly excited to be among my people. It has been way too long.”
Frimpong currently resides in Utah, where he is training to represent Ghana in the skeleton in the Winter Olympics. He got into the sport after being a second alternate bobsled brakeman for the Dutch 2014 Winter Olympic team.
Frimpong had a highly successful first season as a skeleton athlete. In the 2016-2017 season, Frimpong moved up to ranking of 95 out of 154 skeleton athletes in the world. He was the first West African in history to qualify and compete at the 2017 IBSF World Championships in skeleton.
Frimpong has overcome many trials to get where he is, including: being an illegal immigrant in the Netherlands, recovering from debilitating injury, financial setbacks and more. But every time, he transformed those obstacles into opportunities, and his hard work has not gone unnoticed.
His story has inspired audiences worldwide, and the BBC World News confirmed this week that it will be filming a short documentary about Frimpong’s Ghana visit, his journey to the Winter Olympics, and the complexity of starting a winter sport federation in a warm country.
On a personal note, Frimpong looks forward to visiting his Grandma Minka after decades apart. She is the one who taught young Akwasi the following: "Akwasi, what you need for success is already in you; it's a matter of believing in yourself, and having the will to work hard and to never give up.”
You can follow Akwasi's trip in Ghana on social media:
Youtube video Akwasi Frimpong: https://youtu.be/ZkMACzG6sWA
Press release as PDF