Ghana’s Olympic Skeleton athlete, Akwasi Frimpong, is bent on rewriting history for Ghana again at the Inter Continental Cup Race billed for Sochi, Russia. The two-day event which starts from Saturday, November 23 to Sunday, November 24, 2019 is organised by the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF).
In May 2018 in Pyeongchang, Akwasi Frimpong made history as Ghana’s first skeleton athlete at a Winter Olympics.
Sochi holds a special place in Akwasi’s heart as he missed out on the 2014 winter Olympic Games which was hosted there. He recounts that, “it’s a special venue for me because in 2014 I missed the Winter Olympic Games when I became second alternate brakemen for the Dutch Olympic bobsled team”. Akwasi is therefore upbeat about his chances in this tournament.
Akwasi Frimpong is the only Ghanaian and African among 24 men and 15 women who will be racing.
‘The Hope of a Billion’ will be battling against USA, Russia, Canada, Luxembourg, Germany, Italy, Romania, China, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Great Britain, New Zealand and France. Only the top 20 in the first run advance to a second run which is the finals though an athlete still scores points for their country even if they place outside the top 20.
Even though Akwasi Frimpong will be competing against top athletes who have a lot of experience, he is unperturbed. Akwasi Frimpong once again wants to prove that this rabbit is ready to escape from the lion.
“It’s pretty cool to compete against them and learn. But when it comes to recourses and funding for example, I don’t have a coach this season. I want to focus on the positives and utilize the opportunity I’m given.”
With all the challenges he is facing including not having a coach and lack of sponsorship, ‘the Hope of a Billion’ expresses appreciation to Ghana Gas for supporting him. He explains how a top 20 spot is important to him.
“So in terms of funding, I’m not even close to having equal chance with my competitors. But despite all that I am extremely grateful to be in Sochi thanks to Ghana Gas, so I can at least compete and a top 20 will be awesome with this level of competition.”
Story filled by Akosua Adjei.