"My dream took 15 years. What if I gave up?"
Akwasi Frimpong is set to carry the Black Star on his back as his first race at the Winter Games approaches tomorrow (we hope he busts out this victory dance at the end of it, too).
The Ghanaian-born skeleton athlete has had his fair share of challenges and setbacks that ultimately prepared him for this historic moment. Frimpong grew up in the Netherlands and represented the country in the 100 and 200 meter track and field events, but he unfortunately missed competing at the 2012 Summer Olympics due to a tendon injury. He gave his dream of being an Olympian another go in 2014, transitioning to bobsled, but Frimpong was forced to sit out as an alternate since only one sled qualified.
He took a step back, and understandably so, to take what he calls a "sabbatical" to get back in the groove of everyday life. However, after two years of working a nine to five, he still had that itch of going for his Olympic dream. His one last shot led up to this point of becoming Ghana's first skeleton athlete to compete at the Winter Olympics.
We caught up with Frimpong to learn more about his journey, what this moment means for Africans and why we shouldn't be afraid of failing.