The PyeongChang Olympics have already given us our share of comebacks and improbable stories. But Ghana's Akwasi Frimpong's stands out.
Frimpong is only the second-ever Ghanaian to compete in the Winter Olympics and the first to compete in the death-defying sport of skeleton, where sliders streak down a course at speeds of more than 100 km/h.
His athletic journey began in the Netherlands, where, at age eight he moved as an undocumented immigrant. As a teenager Frimpong was a gifted sprinter, even winning the Dutch junior national title at 200 metres. His athletic abilities found him a spot at a sports academy in Amsterdam, and he eventually gained his Dutch citizenship in 2008, according to the Atlantic.
Injuries kept Frimpong from competing at the London Olympics in track and field. A coach urged him to try his hand in bobsled, a sport where he could use his explosive speed and strength. Sadly, he also missed the cut for the Dutch team for the 2014 Games in Sochi, a setback that almost saw him give up on his Olympic dream.
"My wife looked at me one day and said she knew something was bothering me... I still had that dream to get to the Olympics. I knew if I could fulfil my dream, I would be at peace. She said she didn't want me to be 99 years old and still whining about the Olympics!" he said in an interview with the Olympics.
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He then turned to skeleton and approached officials in Ghana to see if they'd be interested in having him carry the flag in PyeongChang. Over the next few years, Frimpong did everything he could to keep that dream alive. "I sold vacuums to pay for my Olympic dream. No one wanted to sponsor me, nobody believed I could do this. Everyone thought I was crazy but I proved to the world I wanted to do this and sponsors came on board. I am grateful," he told U.K.'s Inews.
Frimpong, who also works as a motivational speaker, hopes that his story inspires athletes in Ghana to pursue their own athletic dreams.
"I know football is hugely popular in Ghana but not everyone can be an Abedi Pele or Tony Yeboah so it is important that people have choices and I hope my story pushes that home," he told ESPN.
Meanwhile, Frimpong is soaking up every moment of his Olympics experience. His dance moves and story have made him something of a viral sensation.
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