Reclaiming Fitspo: Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong
Known as the Snow Leopard, Nkrumah-Acheampong is a Ghanaian skier. He was the first person from Ghana to ever compete in the Winter Olympics.
Although Nkrumah-Acheampong had trained for years beforehand and aimed to compete in the Olympics, it wasn’t until 2004 that he was able to travel to Meribel and ski in snow for the first time. It was there that he trained with French coaches and was recognized by the competitive community as a disciplined slalom skier.
In 2005, Nkrumah-Acheampong tried to qualify for the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to arrive on time due to a delayed flight in the Netherlands. He tried again in 2009, succeeding in qualifying for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. He scored 137.5 International Ski Federation points, putting his run within the qualifying range of 120 - 140 points. There in Canada, he finished 53rd out of 102 competitors.
Nkrumah-Acheampong is known to be a huge supporter of winter sports training in Ghana. He set up the Ghanaian Winter Olympic Association and has gotten government backing to build Ghana’s first artificial ski slope, which he plans to build in the Akuapem Hills of Mamfe. He also uses his celebrity status to support a range of educational charities, including Sabre, a British charity working in Ghana which builds schools in deprived areas.
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