Ghana's 'snow leopard' off to Winter Olympics
Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong, 33, is nicknamed "the Snow Leopard" and this week became the first Ghanaian ever to qualify for the games, which are being staged in Vancouver next year.... read full story
Nkrumah-Acheampong was born in Glasgow while his father was studying for a postgraduate degree in the city, but was raised in Ghana without ever seeing a snowflake.
After moving back to Britain as a student in 2002, he was introduced to snow after becoming a receptionist at a ski centre with an indoor real-snow slope.
He finished 13th in his first race and spent his debut professional season in 2004 at Meribel in the French Alps, where he watched other racers and copied them.
The last four winters have been in the Italian Alps, funded by his summer jobs around Milton Keynes, and by the work of his wife, Sena, at the Open University.
The father-of-two said: "All I had ever known about skiing was watching a James Bond film, so it really just took off from there.
"The coaches said I had a natural talent and I've never found skiing difficult. But it has been a hard fight.
Mr Nkrumah-Acheampong has also launched a campaign in Ghana to encourage youngsters to take up the sport.
"We gave them grass skis and then took them to a fish refrigeration unit at Tema to let them feel what the cold is like," he said.