‘Frimpong’s participation in Winter Games historic’

Team Ghana at the opening ceremony at the Games

Team Ghana at the opening ceremony at the Games

Mr. CHOI Kojo, the Chief Executive Officer of PaySwitch Company Limited has praised Ghanaian athlete, Akwasi Frimpong for lifting the image of Ghana at Pyeongchang, South Korea.
He described as historic the participation of the 31-year-old in the ongoing Winter Olympics expected to end February 25 and predicted a bright future for Frimpong.
Speaking to the Ghanaian Times in a telephone interview from Korea where he and some Ghanaian officials had gone to support Frimpong at the Games, the PaySwitch boss noted: “Frimpong is a young determined Ghanaian meaning to make a difference.”
He said: “We expect him to fly high in Beijing in four years.”
Mr. Kojo, a Korean born naturalised Ghanaian donated a cheque for GH¢100,000 to the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC) to support Ghana’s only skeleton athlete.
“My expectation is that he does his best. His participation is already a great one without which our flag will not be present in Korea.”
Frimpong earlier told CNN Sport: “I battled for 13 years.”Giving up was an option, but being patient and persistent nurtured the champion from within. Me going to the Games is a message to anyone out there that is dreaming of something big.”
Aged eight, Frimpong followed his mother to the Netherlands in pursuit of a better future, withdrawing books from the local library to learn Dutch. Adapting to his new surroundings proved very difficult.
He discovered a talent for sprinting at High School in the summer of 2001 and was quickly taken under the wing of two-time Surinamese Olympian turned athletics coach, Sammy Monsels.
He thrived, and two years later became the Dutch junior 200m champion.
“Within 18 months, not only was I the best in my city, but I was the best in my country and won my first gold medal,” says Frimpong. “From then on, I knew anything is possible as long as you believe in yourself and you want it bad enough.”
“For being the fastest boy in the Netherlands I was desperate and sad,” says Frimpong. “I cried every day … I felt like I was living in an isolated jail. A big part of my youth was taken away.”
His fortunes changed when he started studying Public Relations, Marketing and Communications at Amsterdam’s Johan Cruyff College in 2004.
Cruyff, one of football’s most progressive thinkers, would visit the college from time to time, giving pep talks and inspiring the students. Frimpong grabbed the opportunity with both hands, earning the International Student of the Year award for his endeavours both on the track and in the classroom.

By Malik Sullemana

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