The sole athlete from Ghana at the PyeongChang Winter Games on Friday thanked his Korean financial backer and supporters for making his dream of competing at the Olympics come true.
Akwasi Frimpong of Ghana (Yonhap)
Skeleton slider Akwasi Frimpong from Ghana, who is also the only athlete representing the West African country, came in last, at 30th, at the men's skeleton event held at Olympic Sliding Centre in PyeongChang on Friday. South Korea's Yun Sung-bin won gold, becoming the first Asian to win a medal in the history of the Olympic skeleton competition. Nikita Tregubov of the Olympic Athletes from Russia won silver, followed by Dom Parsons of Britain clinching bronze.
"The people of Korea are amazing. Thanks to Korea's wallet, I've been able to make my dream become a reality," Frimpong said in a mixed zone interview after the event.
The underdog Ghana athlete has received a considerable amount of attention from the international media for his remarkable life journey, from entering the Netherlands as an illegal immigrant child, to converting from track and field to the winter sports, first trying out bobsleigh.
According to reports from local media, including Modern Ghana, Ghana-based alternative payment service PaySwitch donated around 23 million won (US$21,300) to the Ghana Olympic Committee to help send Frimpong to South Korea. The decision was made by the company's South Korean CEO Choi Seung-eub, also known as Kojo Choi, who was schooled in Ghana.
Frimpong also thanked the Olympic volunteers in South Korea for their morale support.
"(South Koreans) have been cheering for me ... saying, 'Frimpong, let's go, Frimpong, lets go," he said.
"They're cheering for Yun Sung-bin but also the guy from Ghana. And the crowd is amazing," said Frimpong, adding, "They make you feel like you're the gold medalist yourself."