Sport attention this February shifts to the city of Pyeongchang in South Korea for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. The first official event kicked off on Wednesday but the official opening ceremony will take place on Friday February 9 at 11am GMT.
The Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium will host the opening and closing ceremonies – but the build up to the start of the games has been dogged by concerns that the venue will be too cold for spectators.
Africa is mostly a tropical continent. Most countries don’t have the climate for winter sports but certainly, we have some teams representing the continent in this year’s games.
In fact, this year more African flags will be flying in the Winter games more than before. 8 countries in total, with Nigeria and Eritrea making their debuts with their bobsled and alpine skiing teams respectively. Kenya, Morocco, Ghana, Madagascar, South Africa, Togo completing the African party.
Akwasi Frimpong will become the first Ghanaian to compete in Skeleton. Seun Adigun, has teamed up with Akuoma Omeoga and Ngozi Onwumere to fly the Nigerian flag and the team will also be Africa’s first-ever contestants in the bobsled games.
Sabrina Simader and Mialitiana Clerc will become the first women to represent Kenya and Madagascar respectively. Mathilde-Amivi Petitjean will represent Togo while Connor Wilson with fly the South African flag as Morocco will have Adam Lamhamedi.
Finally Shannon-Ogbani Abeda will buckle up his ski boots to compete as Eritrea’s first-ever Winter Olympic athlete. All the above athletes are taking part in alpine skiing.
We touched base with the Ghanaian athlete Akwasi Frimpong before he left for Pyeongchang.
He said: “I have just qualified for the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in the sport of Skeleton. But my dream started a very long time ago. 15 years ago i won my first gold medal as a track and field athlete and that’s when I started to believe in myself that one day i can become and Olympian which I went after. In 2012 i missed the Olympics in track and field due to an injury. In 2014 i missed out again due to other reasons. But I have never stopped believing myself. I always work hard, stay disciplined and persisted; So if you have a goal and a dream and you really want to accomplish it just go after it. dare to dream and never stop dreaming!”