Ghana at the
2010 Winter Olympics
NOCGhana Olympic Committee
in Vancouver
Competitors1 in 1 sport
Flag bearer Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong
Winter Olympics appearances (overview)

Ghana competed in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The country's participation at the Games marked its Winter Olympics debut, although it had competed at the Summer Olympics since 1952. The delegation for the 2010 Winter Games consisted of a single alpine skier, Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong, also known as the "Snow leopard". He was also the nation's flag bearer in the Parade of Nations. Nkrumah-Acheampong did not win any medals, finishing behind his fellow African, Samir Azzimani of Morocco.


Ghana first participated in a Summer Olympic Games as the Gold Coast at the 1952 Games in Helsinki, Finland. They participated on 12 occasions prior to 2010, winning four medals along the way; three in boxing and a bronze medal in 1992 for the football team.[1] In 2010, the nation made their Winter Olympics debut in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.[1] They sent a single alpine skier Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong, who was also selected to be the flag bearer in the Parade of Nations during the opening ceremony.[2]

Alpine skiing

Main article: Alpine skiing at the 2010 Winter Olympics

The Ghanaian Olympic team entering the stadium during the opening ceremonies.
The Ghanaian Olympic team entering the stadium during the opening ceremonies.

The sole Ghanaian athlete at the Games, Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong, competed in the men's slalom.[3] Known as the "Snow leopard",[1][4] Nkrumah-Acheampong was born in Glasgow, Scotland and raised in Accra, Ghana.[5] He moved to England in 2000, and learnt to ski at the ski slope in Milton Keynes after being hired as a receptionist there.[4][5] He joined the international skiing circuit in 2005, becoming the first black African to do so.[6]

In 2009, he qualified for the 2010 Winter Olympics, scoring 137.5 International Ski Federation points, within the required range of 120–140 points.[4] He previously attempted to qualify for the 2006 Winter Olympics.[5] Nkrumah-Acheampong was one of three African skiers at the 2010 Winter Games, alongside Samir Azzimani of Morocco, and Leyti Seck of Senegal.[7]

Nkrumah-Acheampong only received partial funding from the Ghana Olympic Committee, allowing him to travel to Vancouver, but not covering the travel costs of his support team. When bookmaker Paddy Power discovered the situation, they paid for his manager, coach and physiotherapist to travel to Canada to help his preparation for the Olympics.[6] Nkrumah-Acheampong also sought individual sponsorship for the spots on his leopard spotted ski race suit.[8]

He said "Some people were sceptical, others just 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."[5] He was listed by Time as one of the 25 Winter Olympians to watch during the games, and he was placed as a 500–1 shot for the gold medal.[9] In the slalom, Nkrumah-Acheampong registered times of 1:09:08 and 1:13:52 in his two runs, resulting in a final position of 47th overall.[3] This was one place behind Azzimani of Morocco.[10]

Athlete Event Run 1 Run 2 Total
Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank
Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong Men's slalom 1:09.08 53 1:13.52 48 2:22.60 47


  1. ^ a b c Grasso, Mallon & Heijmans 2015, pp. 140–141.
  2. ^ "Complete list of 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic flag-bearers". Vancouver Sun. 12 February 2010. Archived from the original on 16 February 2010. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong". Sports Reference. Archived from the original on 18 April 2020. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  4. ^ a b c "Base Camp Sponsored Ghanaian skier Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong has qualified for 2010 Olympics". 0–21 Snowboarding. 13 March 2009. Archived from the original on 2 October 2013. Retrieved 22 October 2009.
  5. ^ a b c d Jecks, Nikki (12 March 2009). "Ghana's first skier off to Olympics". Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  6. ^ a b King, Gary (9 February 2010). "Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics: Ghana's snow leopard seeks gold". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on February 13, 2010. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  7. ^ "Moroccan skier happy to share the Vancouver dream". Reuters Africa. 9 February 2010. Archived from the original on 18 October 2016. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  8. ^ "Kwame's Army". Ghana's Ski Team. 22 January 2010. Archived from the original on 20 February 2010.
  9. ^ Levy, Glen (4 February 2010). "Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong". Time. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  10. ^ "Samir Azzimani". Sports Reference. Archived from the original on 18 April 2020. Retrieved 15 October 2016.


  • Grasso, John; Mallon, Bill; Heijmans, Jeroen (2015). Historical Dictionary of the Olympic Movement (5th ed.). Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-1-4422-4859-5.