PYEONGCHANG, Feb. 7 (Korea Bizwire) — The Ghanaian Olympic team will compete at the upcoming Winter Olympics in PyeongChang despite financial problems, thanks to support from a Ghana-based South Korean businessman.
According to reports from local media including Modern Ghana, Ghana-based alternative payment service PaySwitch has donated around 23 million won to the Ghana Olympic Committee to help send the country’s Olympic team to South Korea.
PaySwitch President and CEO Kojo Choi said the decision to provide help is part of the company’s corporate social responsibility initiatives during a ceremony held on Tuesday.
The move comes after Ghana’s Olympic team held a press conference calling for financial support of up to 60 million won, which is necessary to send a team leader and a physical therapist to accompany skeleton competitor Akwasi Frimpong.
Frimpong is the only Ghanaian athlete to take part in the PyeongChang Olympics, and has received international media coverage for being the second athlete from Africa to compete in skeleton despite his slim chances of winning a medal at this year’s Winter Games.
Oh Seung-min, an official from the Ghanaian office of the Korea International Cooperation Agency, welcomed the decision.
“Choi will walk with the Ghanaian team during the opening ceremony. I’m happy to hear that a South Korean entrepreneur has sponsored the Ghanaian Olympic team and helped them go to PyeongChang, thanks to an article by Yonhap News,” Oh said.
Choi went to middle school, high school and university in Ghana, and later established a communications company called Nana Telecom, becoming the most successful South Korean businessman in the African country.
Frimpong himself has also been on the receiving end of a sponsorship from a South Korean company, as an American Hyundai Motor dealership offered him a Sante Fe SUV, which he used to help commute to training and competitions while staying in the state of Utah.
Earlier this year, Frimpong took to Instagram to show gratitude to his sponsor.
“#MurdockHyundaiMurray support this season made traveling to Olympic qualification races possible. Thank you!” Frimpong said in an Instagram post.