EXCELLENCE: Anthony Watson (left) with his friend Kwasi Frimpong (right) after the men’s skeleton heats (Photo credit:GETTY IMAGES)
ANTHONY WATSON and Kwasi Frimpong are set to make history at this year’s Winter Olympics as the first men to represent Jamaica and Ghana in skeleton. With sheer perseverance, the unlikely duo competed for medals in Pyeongchang, last week.
Despite representing different countries in the annual event, both Watson and Frimpong shared a common goal – to place their unsung nations on the winter sports map.
Frimpong, who was raised in Ghana by his grandmother, came from humble beginnings. With the support of his wife Erice, he overcame a number of hurdles, including an Achilles injury, to pursue the Olympic dream.
He became visibly emotional after telling The Telegraph: “For me, the Olympics was to break barriers, to show that black people, people from warm countries, can do this as well,
“I want to motivate and inspire people in my country, to show kids in a little corner what they can do. That little kid was just like myself, living with 10 other kids in a tiny room that had never seen snow before.
“Dreams can come true if you are resilient and work hard.
Frimpong continued: “I had to go through a different journey to be here today. I am just grateful I didn’t give up.
“I just hope a kid in Ghana sees me sliding today and they will go after their dreams as well.”
Based in New York and born to a Jamaican father, former American bobsleigh athlete Watson previously worked as an actor, musician and released an ‘alternative pop’ album entitled Dreaming Wide Awake. Among these professions, the athlete enjoyed a role on Broadway as part of The Lion King.
He said: “I did get a role in Lion King on Broadway in Manhattan, then turned it down because I decided to do off-season camp in Jamaica for two months last summer,” he said. “Look where I am now.
“I was meant to be playing a hyena. Maybe you’ll see me holding a Tony [award for Broadway theatre] 10 years from now . I don’t know.
“I train two or three times a day, four or five times a week and then in the evening, or when I have free time, I do gigs or go to auditions.”
Frimpong aptly summarised the pair’s purpose and said: “We wanted to do something that can outlive us,”
“When we don’t exist any more some kid is going to look in the history books and say, ‘if they did it I can do it as well’.
“And hopefully they can do it a bit better.”
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