Ghana’s first skeleton Winter Olympian, Akwasi Frimpong, has secured a sponsorship with the Ghana National Gas Company in preparation for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
Frimpong, a former track and field sprinter and bobsledder who was born in Kumasi, Ghana, became the first black male skeleton athlete from Africa to compete in the Winter Olympics when he proudly represented Ghana at the 2018 Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Ghana National Gas Company (Ghana Gas) is the leading gas company in Ghana and is responsible for gathering, processing, marketing and transportation of natural gas resources.
Ghana Gas has played a significant role in industrialization in Ghana. The company produces natural gas and gas-based resources for domestic, commercial and industrial use. It has played a significant role in Ghana’s economy by saving the country millions of cedis and contributing to its power generation.
“We are truly honored to be a partner of Akwasi Frimpong’s journey towards the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics,” said Ghana Gas CEO Dr. Ben Asante.
“Frimpong created such a positive impact on the youth of Ghana, Africa and around the world during the 2018 Olympics and more so after the Olympics, where he has continued to inspire us all. His relentlessness in the pursuit of excellence is infectious. Ghana Gas is all about creating impact and Frimpong is the perfect paradigm of impact. We are committed in supporting him as our athlete ambassador to enable him sustain his efforts of brightening the Ghana brand. We are also excited to see him go after something that has never been achieved before in the history of the continent of Africa; a Winter Olympics medal for Ghana and Africa at large.
Skeleton is a winter sliding sport in which a person rides a small sled down a frozen track while lying face down and going head-first. Athletes can reach speeds up to 80/90 miles per hour with their chin just inches from the ice. In 2016, Frimpong became the first person in West Africa to start a skeleton federation. Three years on, many other African countries and athletes are following his lead. Last week, Frimpong was in Lagos, Nigeria to help the Nigerian Bobsled and Skeleton Federation find new talent for winter sports. He has also been involved in helping African countries such as Togo, Gambia and Eritrea join the sport of bobsled and skeleton.
Akwasi Frimpong shot to global prominence at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea, and has since become a household name as an athlete, influencer and a motivational speaker. He was arguably the most interviewed athlete during the Olympics, generating millions of media views due to his unusual and inspiring story. He endeared himself to the hearts of many with his perseverance and positive personality, becoming a viral sensation while bringing massive attention to Ghana. The IOC later starred Frimpong in the 2018 official Olympic film called “Crossing Beyond”, a piece set around five athletes from different backgrounds with the same Olympic ambitions.
In 2018 the renowned Oxford University Press included Frimpong in an English textbook for students all over the world.
Frimpong’s next goal is to win the first ever Winter Olympics medal for Ghana and for Africa, in a campaign he has dubbed “Hope of a Billion”.
“I have been working tirelessly to become the hope of the over a billion people on my continent, and I know that by overcoming the challenges I face on this journey, children and underdogs across the continent will be inspired to chase their dreams. I want to prove that anything in life is possible as long as you’re are willing to work for it,” said Frimpong.
“I’m grateful and humbled to see such an esteemed organization from my motherland, Ghana, support me. I hope more companies in Ghana follow, because my journey has outgrown just me; it is about placing Ghana in a conversation that sells the country’s brand on a global scale. My team and I have invested a lot of hard work into this journey, and the kindness of the Ghana National Gas Company has come at a great time to sustain our commitment towards making our great nation proud. The aim is to make a mark that would be a legacy for the next generation of Ghanaians and Africans to aspire towards greatness.”