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Ghanaians in BC Fete Snow Leopard

17 February 2010 at 02:15 | 543 views

By Our Correspondent.

“Snow Leopard o-s-a-a-y ye-e ye-e-e!,” the crowd chanted enthusiastically. The Coquitlam Sports Complex reverberated with a mixture of the patriotic chant and cheers. The coy-looking Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong(photo), Ghana’s sole Winter Olympics competitor responded with toothpaste smiles. Flanked by his family—parents, children, wife, in-laws—and members of the Ghana Ski Team, Kwame was visibly moved.

“Thank you for all you have done for me, my family and my team over the past few months to make the trip to Canada possible,” he told the large crowd of cheering fans, which included Ghanaians and members of the general public during a reception here. Also attending the colourful reception were members of the diplomatic corps, including the Honorary Consul-Generals of Barbados, Cyprus, Mauritius, and Senegal.

The reception which was sponsored by the Ghana High Commission in Ottawa and organized jointly by Ghana’s Honorary Consul-General in BC, Mr. George Piprah and the Ghanaian Canadian Association of British Columbia (GCABC), began with a lively display by fellow Ghanaian juggler Mr. Fantastik.

In a speech, Mr. Piprah said Ghanaians were proud of Mr. Nkrumah-Acheampong’s accomplishments and wished him well in the Olympics.

For his part, Dr. Charles Quist-Adade, president of the Ghanaian-Canadian Association of BC began his speech with a spirited rallying “cho-o-o-boi” chant, eliciting a rousing response from the animated audience. He wished the Snow Leopard “Godspeed and the blessings of our ancestors to help you win the competition.” Dr. Quist-Adade thanked Mr. Nkrumah-Acheampong for making Ghanaians in Canada and everywhere proud. “Through your hard work and sacrifice, you have lifted the profile of Ghana, and for that we are beholden to you,” he added.

The Mayor of Coquitlam, Mr. Richard Stewart was proud to be associated with the extraordinary Olympian of Ghanaian heritage. He presented Mr. Nkrumah-Acheampong with a gift.

Nkrumah-Acheampong’s Manager, Mr. Richard Harpham related the struggles the Ghana Ski Team had gone through to qualify for the Olympics. He said the team had single-handedly raised money for the competition.

The Ghanaian-Canadian Association of BC also presented Mr, Nkrumah-Acheampong with gifts. Presenting the gift, Dr. Quist-Adade said this is a “token of our deepest appreciation for your sacrifice to uplift the name of our Motherland.”

Former Canadian Olympics Wrestling Champion, Mr. Daniel Igali gave a morale booster advice to Kwame. “Stay focused, avoid all the distractions.”

Among the dignitaries present at the reception were Consul-Generals Marilyn Moseley, Barbados; Tasoula Berggren, Cyprus; Nittin Reebye, Mauritius; David Varty, Senegal; and Dr Richard Allsopp- former Consul for Ghana.