Straight Out of Ghana to the Vancouver Winter Olympics: Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong

Posted By: Zeke Piestrup on June 2, 2009 4:02 pm

The Olympics bring new opportunities to discover your world.  Your conduit to the African nation of Ghana is Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong.  Nkrumah-Acheampong has qualified for the Vancouver Olympics in alpine skiing.  Did I mention he’s from Ghana??  

Ghana resides on the Gulf of Guinea on the west coast of Africa.  At an altitude of 2900 feet, Mount Afadjato (pictured right) is Ghana’s highest mountain.  For snow, that elevation may cut it at Alyeska, but not in Ghana where the temps don’t dip below 70.  Ghana intersects both the Equator and the Greenwich Meridian, thus wearing the tag of the country at the center of the world.  The climate switch is always on tropical.

Ghana is one of Africa’s most successful democracies.  This past January marked the second time in the nation’s history that power was handed from one democratically-elected leader to another.  Freedom of the press and the prohibition of censorship is ensured by the 1992 Constitution.  English is the official language.  Ghana for 500, you are Jeopardy prepared.

At 26, Nkrumah-Acheampong moved from Ghana to England.  He got a gig as a receptionist at the Xscape indoor ski slope in Milton Keynes.  Once he took to the mini-slope, he found he had a knack for this skiing thing.  Soon after, he joined the international race circuit, FIS sanctioned events.

Now don’t believe that all he had to do was show a Ghana driver’s license, strap on some skies, and walk the opening ceremonies.  That would be somewhat insulting, considering all the hard work Nkrumah-Acheampong has put in to his Olympic dream.  Hard work, like the kind you’re avoiding every time you glaze past pronouncing Nkrumah-Acheampong.  Hm?

“To qualify for Vancouver 2010, I need to have an International Ski Federation rating of less than 140. I’ve brought this down from over 1,000 in the past four years by competing in FIS-affiliated races all over the world,” Kwame said.

It is a dream fulfilled.  Congrats to Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong.  I have the first name down, no problem!

Zeke Piestrup ( More Posts)

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