UVU grad competes for Ghana in Winter Olympics
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.”
Akwasi Frimpong on the skeleton.