2018 is certainly Africa’s time to shine at the Winter Olympics. Following in the footsteps of Simidele Adeagbo who’ll become Africa’s first woman skeleton athlete at the event, Ghana’s Akwasi Frimpong will be in Pyeongchang, South Korea where he’ll make history as the first skeleton athlete out of his country.
Frimpong is also a Dutch national who has won four bronze, four silver, and eight gold medals at various local and international racing events. In 2003, he became the Dutch national junior champion in the 200-meter race at the age of 17. Ten years later, he was a member of the Dutch bobsled team which participated in the 2013 Bobsleigh World Cup in Park City, US.
After switching to skeleton, his first professional outing in the sport was in February 2017 when he competed in the IBSF World Championships Skeleton event in Germany. Sponsored by Cocoa from Ghana, a Dutch initiative that aims to raise awareness of Ghanaian cocoa, Frimpong got his Olympic Games spot after finishing in 14th- and 15th-places in Lake Placid last weekend.
Speaking with Pulse, he made clear what he wants to achieve in Pyeongchang with this opportunity:
“Through skeleton I’m trying to show people to come out of their comfort zone as much as possible and get into something different. We cannot all be Abedi Pele, we cannot all be Usain Bolt, but we all have talent that we can definitely use.”
In a bid to promote skeleton in his home country, he spearheaded the formation of the Ghana Bobsled and Skeleton Federation. His story as an immigrant who went through a lot for 13 years trying to obtain a legal residence permit in the Netherlands inspired a documentary, The Rabbit Theory which was released in 2010.