UVU grad com­petes for Ghana in Win­ter Olympics

Serve Daily - - FRONT PAGE - By Me­gan Wall­gren for Serve Daily

For­mer Utah Val­ley Univer­sity track and field sprinter and Utah res­i­dent Ak­wasi Frim­pong be­came the first-ever skele­ton ath­lete to rep­re­sent Ghana in the Win­ter Olympics when he com­peted on Fe­bru­ary 15 in PyeongChang, South Ko­rea. He is only the sec­ond Ghana­ian ever to par­tic­i­pate in the Win­ter Games.

Frim­pong placed 30th in both runs. Frim­pong told me­dia mem­bers his run wasn't about medals, but “to come in and say, here we do not have ice, but we can do it. And we did it.”

Frim­pong was born on Fe­bru­ary 11, 1986, in Ghana. He im­mi­grated to the Nether­lands at the age of eight. There he trained and honed his sprint­ing skills. At 22, he came to the U.S. where he was awarded a schol­ar­ship from Utah Val­ley Univer­sity. He be­gan study­ing and com­pet­ing on the track and field team in 2008. He grad­u­ated in 2013.

Like many ath­letes, he had Olympic dreams in Track and Field that were dashed by in­jury. A Dutch coach, Ni­cola Minichiello, in­tro­duced him to skele­ton. In an Olympic in­ter­view, he said, “I just loved the feel­ing. It was like go­ing through a canyon on a mo­tor­cy­cle with no speed limit. It was like danc­ing with the ice.”

Photo: Cour­tesy Utah Val­ley Univer­sity

Ak­wasi Frim­pong on the skele­ton.

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