>Meet the Snow Leopard Kwame Nkrumah Acheampong

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I remember the first time I heard of Kwame Nkrumah Acheampong…A Ghanaian man, raised in tropical Africa, who six years ago for the first time stood on a pair of skis…and now is going to compete in the Olympic games in Slalom (or downhill skiing for you who are still not familiar with snow).

Could this be for real? Can a Ghanaian ski professionally? Is it Fool’s day?

My my sarcasms quickly went away as I (again) had to realize that life is so much better than fiction. Here are some other facts:

* He shares names with Ghana’s first president Kwame Nkrumah.
* Some marketing team has come up with the brilliant idea of calling him “the snow leopard”.
* The problem for Nkrumah Acheampong has been financial rather than physical, see my fellow blogger David Ajao‘s post here.
*A Ghanaian government official flew to Vancouver to wish him “good luck”, source Reuters.
*His goal for the olympics was “not to come last”
*He actually skied better than 7 others…
*…Or at least skied better than one other skier as the other six were disqualified or did not finish the competition. See results here
*He now wants to teach kids how to ski – in Ghana! Reuters got this wonderful quote:

“We’ve got the site and everything. It’s just to get all the equipment, the bulldozers to level out all the rough patches, grow the grass and — Bingo!, we’re there.”

What can I say, life is better than fiction, especially the life of Kwame Nkrumah Acheampong!

Pic: From the official Vancouver athlete page here.