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Olympic Grit

Olympic Grit

[ Mon, 2010-03-01 14:08 ]
Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong competes in slalom
Ghana and Albania each sent one skier to the 2010 Games. We should all take inspiration from their stories.

Sure, Bode won his first gold, and the all the drama surrounding Lindsey Vonn -- the Riesch-Vonn friendship/rivalry, the Vonn-Mancuso Twitter war -- was certainly televisual. But underneath that sheen were some real stories of true triumph, of no-hope Olympians coming out of the woodwork and onto the world's stage, heads held high. A couple of weeks back, we told you about Ghana's Snow Leopard: Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong taught himself to ski at a snow dome six years ago and this year became his home country's first (and only) competitor at the 2010 Olympics. And we have to say, he acquitted himself well -- even managing to outdo Bode Miller in the men's slalom last Saturday. While Miller failed to finish, Nkrumah-Acheampong skied the course in 1:09.08 -- a thick 21 seconds behind the leader, but not, perhaps surprisingly, in last place. That honor went to Albanian Erjon Tola, who, having missed a gate on his first run, stopped his run, sidestepped back up to the gate, then continued his run, crossing the finish line with fist-pump. "I was watching the course and I said, 'No, I want to finish it,'" Tola told reporters at the line. "That's why I came back and finished, because this is the Olympics."

Photo courtesy of Facebook/Kwame's Army