The Underdog vs. the Olympian
In the Men’s Slalom on Whistler Creekside, Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong completed the course 21.29 seconds behind eventual gold medalist Giuliano Razzoli of Italy. The Snow Leopard was greeted by a thunderous applause as he crossed the finish line to earn himself a 53rd place ranking among the 54 skiers who did finish the race. In most circles, that placement would be considered an embarrassment but to the 32-year old father of two, this accomplishment at the Winter Olympics was a feat he would never tire of recounting.
Unlike the American Men’s Ice Hockey team that promoted themselves as underdogs but won all of their games up till the final, Nkrumah-Acheampong’s underdog status was solidified based on the obvious fact that the odds were heavily up against him throughout his entire journey to the Olympics.
Unlike the Americans whose roster was made up of professional hockey players who grew up playing hockey, Nkrumah-Acheampong was considered a relative novice, having just picked up skiing in 2004, 6 years prior to competing for the Olympic qualifiers.
Unlike the Americans who were dejected to lose to the Canadians in that Men’s Ice Hockey final and finishing second to first, Nkrumah-Acheampong crossed his finish line with elation and jubilation while finishing second to last.
Such is the characteristic of the true underdog.
Remember of the Jamaican Bobsled Team of 1988. Recall the qualification of legally blind skier Brian McKeever to the Canadian National Cross-Country Ski Team. Examine the lives of each Paralympic athlete ever to reach the International stage.
The most important thing in life is not the triumph, but the fight ;
the essential thing is not to have won, but to have fought well – the Olympic Creed
Such is the definition of the Olympian.