Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Black Man from Africa on Ski Slopes!

I'm not a fan of skiing and you'd rarely find an African who's interested in skiing, but who said Africans can't ski? The story of a black man from Africa on ski slopes in the Vancouver Winter Olympics 2010, reminded me of the goal of this blog, On The Road To Success - to inspire ordinary people who seek to challenge the status quo and venture into less traveled paths. This is exactly what Ghana's Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong is doing - he's entering uncharted territory!

I was pleasantly surprised to learn that 33 years old, father of two, Nkrumah-Acheampong would be representing his country - Ghana in the on-going Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Yes! There'll be a black man from Africa on ski slopes in Vancouver.

Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong was born in Glasgow but grew up in Accra - the capital of Ghana, in West Africa. Ghana is known for it's tropical climate and no snow. Needless to say, there're no ski slopes or skiers in the country. Nkrumah-Acheampong told BBC that the first time he saw snow was on TV back home in Ghana. His first snow experience was in 2000, when he moved to the UK for studies. Coming from a country with no snow, how exactly did Nkrumah-Acheampong start skiing and went as far as qualifying for the Vancouver Winter Olympics 2010?

It all started a few years ago on artificial slopes in the UK, where the now professional skier, Nkrumah-Acheampong was ridiculed when he stated skiing. He met with a lot of scepticism, but never gave up his ambitious goal. Many could not envision an African on ski slopes. However, Nkrumah-Acheampong defied the odds and did not give up the dream - he carried on with passion and perseverance. And of course, it took some time, but his hard work and perseverance paid off.
"Some people were skeptical, others did not believe that it was possible to train in such a short period of time and try and qualify, but I think now I can stand up and say it's possible."
He admits his first experience on real snow was "terrifying", but he didn't quit and with the help of a coach - Dave Jacobs, he overcame his fears of going down the slopes. If I may ask, do you have a coach? Who's coaching you to success? Keep in mind that successful people have mentors (coaches)!

It's worth mentioning that Nkrumah-Acheampong failed to qualify for the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. However, he kept working hard, with his eyes fixed on the next goal - Vancouver 2010. Due to his hard work, perseverance and stubborn determination, today, the flag of Ghana is flying in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. And guess what, all the sceptics are now spectators - sitting up in the stands or glued to TV sets, watching a black man from Africa, perform on the ski slopes in Vancouver, where all the fame, action and money is. Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong has defied the naysayers and made a name for himself.

What's your story? Do you give in to scepticism? Do you watch things happen or do you make things happen? It's up to you!

In case you missed it: Real Africans Don't Apologize for Being African!

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