5 July 2019: Dutch-Ghanaian Winter Olympian Akwasi Frimpong has today been appointed as the seventh member of the Start-Up Group for the new Athlete-led Movement for change, Global Athlete.
In joining Global Athlete, Frimpong who made history at Pyeongchang 2018 by becoming West Africa’s first male skeleton athlete at a Winter Olympic Games - is part of a growing number of cause-driven athletes worldwide that want to reform sport and bridge the current disconnect between administrators and athletes with regards to the way sport is run. Frimpong has joined Global Athlete to give athletes their rightful say at the decision-making table alongside administrators – something he believes is currently absent from Olympic and Paralympic sport – and to ensure athletes are treated fairly.
“At a time when athletes are rising, I am delighted to be joining Global Athlete so that I can play my part in creating history by changing the way sport is run at the very top,” said Frimpong. “Positive change in the world of sport is inevitable. Athletes and administrators who are bold, ambitious and crazy enough to believe they can create positive change to the way that sport is governed are the ones that usually succeed. We must embrace the ambition of those that want to change sport for the better, and there can be no time to waste in securing that change,” he added.
The 33-year-old, who was born in Ghana and moved to the Netherlands aged eight, has been an inspiration to millions of aspiring athletes across Africa and the world through his Hope of a Billion campaign. Frimpong established Hope of a Billion having been motivated by an ambition to become the first African to win a medal at the Winter Olympics. Through the campaign, Frimpong aims to become an example for more than a billion Africans and underdog athletes who have been told their sporting dreams are not possible. With Hope of a Billion, Frimpong provides an example that ‘any dream, whether it is being a doctor, a lawyer, a businessperson or an Olympian, is possible with hard work, dedication and perseverance’.
“I am thrilled to welcome Akwasi to our growing athlete movement,” said Global Athlete Director General, Rob Koehler. “Akwasi has an incredible backstory of courage and triumph in the face of adversity, and it is athletes like him that have inspired so many others to speak up when things need improving and to stand up for what’s right. Our Start-Up Group looks forward to working with Akwasi as, collectively, they reach out to athletes from all sports and all countries to improve and modernise athlete rights,” he added.