It is a well known fact that I love the Olympics, I mean love, love, love them.
Part of me is already sad that they are almost over. I love the excitement, the crashes, the funny commentaries (even when they aren't supposed to be funny), and the stories. You know I love a good story.
I love watching the athletes live out their dreams and there is always an underdog. The Olympics are so fabulous for the fact that they truly bring the world together for 16 days. People get along, cheer for each other, learn a few things about others, and show true human compassion. I am not ashamed to tell you that I have shed more tears than most shed in a year over these past Olympic filled days.
I first read this story in the Magazine Bible, aka, People Magazine and then read an article in the Washington Post about it as well.
Meet an underdog and someone who has worked hard and has big dreams that are coming true this week.
This is the Snow Leopard also known by his real name of Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong. Some of you may have read about him as well or seen pieces on him.
This 35 year old is an Alpine Skier from Ghana.
That's right. You read that right. Ghana. As in the African country known as having a tropical climate and one with an average annual temperature of 79 degrees. (Thanks to Google for helping me out with the average temperature information.)
He will be taking to the slopes tomorrow to ski as the country's first and only Winter Olympic athlete. He hadn't even seen snow until 2002 and only been skiing for 6 years.
The Snow Leopard says "My goal is to try and beat some other countries who have snow. We might not have big budgets, like the Austrian ski team. Most of these guys have skied since they were young. So if I can take down a few, I'm happy."
Apparently the outpouring of love and support has been phenomenal while he has been in Vancouver and he is quite the celebrity. It is quite impressive that he has only been skiing for 6 years and was able to qualify for the Olympics.
His spirit and the support of fans is exactly what the Olympics are all about! I will definitely be cheering on Team Ghana tomorrow.
Have a great weekend.
PS-This story reminds me of Cool Runnings, you know about the Jamaican bobsled team from the Calgary games 30 years ago??? I love that movie. Did you know that this was the first year since that original qualifying that the Jamaican bobsled team hasn't qualified? Just a little trivia for you to pass on. :)
(Thanks washingtonpost.com for the quote from the "snow leopard.")