Simidele Adeagbo, Akwasi Frimpong and Anthony Watson are the black athletes from Nigeria, Ghana and Jamaica who are the first to represent their countries in the 2018 Winter Olympics skeleton event
The athletes’ feat to the terrifying skeleton event is evidence that anything is possible, if you work hard enough.
They are also among a handful of ‘Cold Runnings’ black athletes that are competing in the sub-zero conditions of the Winter Olympics in South Korea.
Each had a different journey to the Games, but they all share a pride in representing their country and a determination to inspire millions ‘back home’ that anything is possible – if you work hard enough.
Nigeria’s Simidele Adeagbo – who along with the country’s women bobsleigh team – have been compared to the legendary 1988 Jamaican team that inspired the movie ‘Cool Runnings’.
Miss Adeagbo told MailOnline: “It’s amazing that we [Nigerian Olympic team] are here. We are all so proud to represent our country and to inspire a generation of children to take up sport and compete against the best in the world.”
“The first time I went down the track I was so scared,” Akwasi Frimpong told MailOnline as he chatted following his morning practice at the Pyeongchang Sliding Centre.
Frimpong further said, “It is so fast, your chin is about three inches from the ice and you have no brakes. But when I got to the finish, I just wanted to go back to the start and do it again. I just loved the feeling.
“I don’t know if I will win, but I will try my best. I am so proud to represent Ghana, my country, it is a real honour,”
“My family back home tell me that everyone is very proud of me – but I am here to show the kids, everyone, that anything is possible, if you work hard at it.
“I am the first person from Ghana to take compete in the skeleton. I am not an Olympian yet, but after I compete, I will be.”
Frimpong’s ‘close friend’ Anthony Watson too is the first athlete to represent his country Jamaica in the skeleton event – the head-first decent on a roller-coaster ice-track on a sledge that resembles a thick tea tray.
Watson, a former track athlete, only made it to the Olympics after several countries failed to take their places in the skeleton even and he received a late call.
But he determined to take the unexpected opportunity with both hands and hopefully make his mark.
Speaking about his success so far, Watson said, “This whole year has been a roller coaster of emotions. It is an absolute honour to make history.”