Akwasi Frimpong is a Dutch-Ghanaian sprinter, bobsledder and skeleton athlete, currently living in the U.S.A. Akwasi recently made history as well as stole the hearts of the Sporting world, as Ghana’s first ever Skeleton athlete and only their second ever Winter Olympian, at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea .
As a multi talented athlete Akwasi has also won an incredible 4 bronze, 4 silver, and 8 gold medals at sporting events upto International level throughout his career with ambitions to win many more.
Akwasi was born in Ghana and lived with his Grandmother as a child. His mother who was a Gospel singer who with his Father had moved to the Netherlands to find work to provide for the family. It was only at 8 yrs of age that he was permanently re united with them and even then was classed by the Government as an illegal immigrant. As a consequence, many schools refused to accept him and the odds were with that initial failure to be in school regularly he would struggle to be successful. Remarkably he went on to become a ‘Student of the year’ award winner before going on to become one of the Netherlands greatest sprinters.
Akwasi told us that unfortunately while preparing as a 100meter relay runner for the 2012 Olympics, that were to take place in London, England, he suffered an injury forcing him out of contention. Determined to fulfil his dream of competing at a games, he fought back and earned a spot on the Dutch Bobsled team, as an alternate for the Olympics in 2014 but only the 1st choice team ultimately attended the games.
Akwasi was determined to be there in 2018 but this time to represent Ghana. It would have been easy to aim to represent the Netherlands again and make a simple step up but Akwasi told us that instead he saw an opportunity to inspire millions of people and especially the children in his original homeland. He knew it wasn’t going to be easy and said money was a big obstacle to success. He told us “I had to go door to door to sell vacuums even when I had injuries and without the proper resources”. Everyone was working hard in the family including his wife who was pregnant and working two jobs but we had a belief as a family, that the sacrifice would eventually pay off.
We asked Akwasi that in the midst of all his challenges how did his faith in God help. He said “As a Christian, no matter how tough the journey was, I knew Gods time was the right time. If I had competed in the 2012 and 2014 Olympics for the Dutch team, it would have been wonderful and a personal accomplishment. But God made me go through the trials for 15 years, so I could do something bigger in 2018. Writing history for my country and teaching millions of kids in Ghana to come out of their comfort zones and dare to dream. I’m leaving a legacy behind that will outlive me”. Gods plan is bigger than mine and his time is the right time.
Akwasi said that through the ‘Fight for the fatherless’ he hoped that you guys in reading his story would know that anything is possible in life. He really wanted you to know you can do anything you put your mind to and his challenge to you all was “To Dare to Dream”.
We hope to hear more from Akwasi and to be able to travel along on his journey. He has some big dreams and we’d love to stay connnected to him to see them unfold. His next goal is to win a Winter Olympic medal in 2022. Something no other African has ever done in the history of the Winter Olympics.
To be honest we can’t see him not succeeding ultimately. It seems no matter how many times he fails he just keeps moving forward, till eventually he succeeds.