Ghana’s first skeleton Olympian, Akwasi Frimpong, twice qualified for the finals during the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation Pyeongchang InterContinental Cup this week in Pyeongchang, South Korea. It is the same track where Frimpong made history for his country and began his drive to become the Hope of a Billion when he competed in the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Frimpong’s results this week showed just how far he has come as a skeleton athlete on the world stage. In 2018, Frimpong finished 30th out of 30 athletes. This week, Frimpong finished 19th and 20th out of 24 athletes beating countries from the Netherlands, Belgium, South Africa, Luxembourg, and New Zealand. The results come despite not having a sliding coach.
As his successful sliding season wraps up, Frimpong competed in 12 races and qualified for the finals eleven times. Frimpong currently ranks 76th out of 150 skeleton athletes in the world. He can still move up in the world rankings since only 7 best races are now counted on the world rankings with one more to be added by next weekend.
“I made some big improvements this year,” Frimpong said. “I’m proud of what I have accomplished, but there is still so much work ahead of me before the 2022 Olympics. I hope in the upcoming season I can find the support I need to have a sliding coach to make bigger strides for Ghana.”
He went on to admit that “Qualifying for the Olympics is going to be extremely difficult if I don’t have a sliding coach and the resources of other countries. I trust something good will happen, for now I just have to keep working harder and stay relentless.“
As far as future plans are concerned Frimpong said: “I plan to take a couple of days off to be with my family then start training to prepare for next season. I want to thank my head sponsor, Ghana Gas, whose support has been critical to my growth this season. Team Murdock Hyundai from Murray, Utah has made my traveling to training locally possible since 2017. My new sponsor, Forever Living Products International, has been supporting me with their amazing Aloe Vera products which helps with my recovery. Finally, I have to thank everyone who has been part of the Hope of a Billion story this season.”
Below is a video of Frimpong’s race in Pyeongchang, South Korea on February 1, 2020:
Source: Bobsled and Skeleton Federation – Ghana