Winter Olympian Akwasi Frimpong returns to Ghana April 2

BY: Kweku Zurek
Winter Olympian Akwasi Frimpong returns to Ghana April 2
Winter Olympian Akwasi Frimpong returns to Ghana April 2

Ghana's historic lone-ranger at the 2018 Winter Olympics Akwasi Frimpong will return to the country for the first time since participating at the Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Akwasi Frimpong is expected to spend five days in Ghana between April 2-7 working as an Athlete Ambassador for children's charity Right To Play across to cities.

Akwasi Frimpong will visit Right to Play projects in Accra and Tamale within the five days that he will spend in the country.

Frimpong is also scheduled to meet with officials of the Ministry of Youth and Sports as well as the Bobsled and Skeleton Federation Ghana.

"I’m interested in visiting these projects to share my story with these kids and inspire them to Dare to Dream," Akwasi Frimpong told Graphic Online in an exclusive interview.


"This visit is really all about coming to Ghana go visit projects of Right to Play. Because besides my goal being an Olympian. another important thing for me is to share my story with these kids and motivate them to dare to dream," he added.

Frimpong will depart Ghana on April 7 for Amsterdam, The Netherlands to attend the Right to Play gala in Amsterdam where he is billed as a keynote speaker.

Frimpong tells Graphic Online that he will be hoping to share his experiences in Ghana with his audience at the gala and help to raise money for Right to Play projects in Ghana.

Born and raised in Kumasi, Ghana, Akwasi Frimpong moved to the Netherlands at the age of eight, where he lived as an illegal immigrant.

“When I was eight years old, living in Ghana, my grandma said, ‘Akwasi, what you need for success is already in you. It is a matter of believing in yourself, having the will to work hard, and never giving up.’ So every time that I have wanted to give up, I remembered that and knew that I had to keep going.”

After overcoming much adversity, including injury and the task of mastering three different sports along the way, Frimpong's long-awaited dream finally became a reality when he made history as Ghana's first skeleton athlete at a Winter Olympics.

“When I was eight years old, living in Ghana, my grandma said, ‘Akwasi, what you need for success is already in you. It is a matter of believing in yourself, having the will to work hard, and never giving up.’ So every time that I have wanted to give up, I remembered that and knew that I had to keep going.”

Frimpong who works as an entrepreneur recently opened up to www.olympic.org about the unique way he funded his Olympic dreams as a vacuum cleaner salesman.

He said: “The biggest challenge is, obviously, that I’m not a professionally paid athlete. I’m doing an amateur sport. I’m not an American football player or basketball player, so I don’t get paid in my sport. That’s one of the biggest things. The challenge is that I can’t really provide for my family the way I want to. That has been the biggest thing, obviously.

“I eventually found a job as a vacuum cleaner salesman. I hadn’t even heard of these vacuum cleaners when I started out; but I needed to be able to pay for my Olympic dream, so I had to find something. They cost around 2,000 dollars each, but in my first month, I sold 19 in 15 days. Then in my second month, I sold 32 in 18 days and became the number one salesman in the US. I realised that I had a talent for it. It normally takes about three or four years before people have their own distributorship business, but it took me five months. Now, I own my own sales business and get to hire people, instead of selling door-to-door myself.”