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What odds the "Snow Leopard" making it to the Olympics?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
The "Snow Leopard", first skied down a mountain in France last December, at Val d'Isère, having learnt to ski aged 27 on an indoor slope in England.

His dream? To line up behind Bode in the Olympic GS at Sestriere, Feb 20th next, and to be the first black African in an Alpine skiing event.

Fantasy? Maybe. But Ghanaian Kwame has surprised a few sceptics in whittling his FIS points down to the mid-200s in the space of a few months racing in Europe last season, and South America over the summer. Not much time left though to reach the minimum Olympic qualifying standard...

Snow Leopard On The Hill ... Kwame's story
post #2 of 21
Another Eddie the Eagle? I thought it was a shame that they changed the rules so that these people couldn't qualify. Eddie and that black guy who couldn't swim very well were great and expanded olympic perameters a bit. Put a dampener on all that grim seriousness.

edit: there's something odd with his stacking during turns. He seems to be dropping his hip way inside on those turns to the right, and the outside (left) leg seems to be losing power and the ski edge is slipping. The lower leg seems to be rolling outward.
post #3 of 21
Of course not;I've read on this forum, that it takes years of hundred+ days of skiing with skilled coaching, just to learn how to carve a turn.:
post #4 of 21
I'm still waiting for Mens Synchronized swimming to make the summer olympics "I'm not a real strong swimmer" "I can't swim"
post #5 of 21
PG, it's good to see how supportive you are of him now, after what you originally said!
post #6 of 21
Sorry, I should have added a link there...
http://snowheads.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=4046&start=0
post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
Kwame himself has followed the entire thread - and had no complaints about what I said. That's because he knows I support the man, not the commercial bandwagon jumping - so my position is consistent. I'm not so happy about the readiness of business interests to exploit individuals because of their visibility at least as much as because of their sporting potential.

Pure opportunism, and a bit distasteful in so far as there are other talented people out there who are missing out.

But Kwame is a genuine, hard-working guy with a dream, and I know what the 'Leopard' has sacrificed to get this far, so anyone with the guts to do what he is doing has my full backing.
post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stache
I'm still waiting for Mens Synchronized swimming to make the summer olympics "I'm not a real strong swimmer" "I can't swim"
This was an hysterical SNL skit in the 80's w/ Martin Short and male synchronized swimmers. It's a classic - wish I could find a Video file of it.
http://snltranscripts.jt.org/84/84aswimmers.phtml
post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by PG
I know what the 'Leopard' has sacrificed to get this far, so anyone with the guts to do what he is doing has my full backing.
I like your backing...
"It's totally ridiculous. He hasn't got a snowball's chance in hell of getting within sight of your average alpine club pre-teen come the Turin Olympics."

Are you sure you're not the one suddenly jumping on the bandwagon with your newfound support of him?
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
I'm not engaging in tit for tat stupidity with you Fox. People can read the whole thread if they really wish, not your out of context quotes, and draw their own conclusions.
post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by FRAU
This was an hysterical SNL skit in the 80's w/ Martin Short and male synchronized swimmers. It's a classic - wish I could find a Video file of it.
http://snltranscripts.jt.org/84/84aswimmers.phtml
Martin Short and the ever-brilliant Harry Shearer.
post #12 of 21
Yes wtfh don't quote poor PG out of context you meany. If you had quoted his whole post, I expect PG wouldn't have looked like a hypocrite at all.
What he actually wrote was
Quote:
You've said it, Ian. It's totally ridiculous. He hasn't got a snowball's chance in hell of getting within sight of your average alpine club pre-teen come the Turin Olympics. Just another promotional stunt while so many really gifted kids can't afford the training they need.
There see, perhaps he wasn't really out to get Snowleopard. Perhaps he was just jealous his kids weren't getting the money.
post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
Nice to see U on the forum, would recognise you anywhere. I wrote a lot more than that on business backing saleable products at least as much as talent, but I suppose you couldn't be bothered to read that far. Kwame himself did, though. Why don't you ask him what he thinks? Ah, that would make you look stupid, of course, I understand.

It's pretty pitiful when you guys hiding behind pseudonyms join a forum just to flame someone you've been stalking, but I would expect nothing less of you
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost
Of course not;I've read on this forum, that it takes years of hundred+ days of skiing with skilled coaching, just to learn how to carve a turn.:


LOL. mid 200's is certainly a damn good bit of results for that kind of time investment...

Quote:
Originally Posted by PG
But Kwame is a genuine, hard-working guy with a dream, and I know what the 'Leopard' has sacrificed to get this far, so anyone with the guts to do what he is doing has my full backing.
Word. I wish him the absolute best.


Hmmm, so the Olympic standard is 140 points according to this article. Anyone hear "points race" in the back of their head? 140 shouldn't be too difficult to achieve for a guy that is clearly so athletic. I bet he does it, or comes damn close.
post #15 of 21
I understand PG's pain. I myself never had really had much of a chance to be a worldcup skier; my parents were not rich enough. No membership at the club, no lessons, nothing. My highschool had no ski club. I coulda been a contender!: I can live with it.

Get over it. Deserve's got nothing to do with it.
If this guy is fortunate enough to beat the odds and get a chance at making it, I hope he makes it
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by PG
The "Snow Leopard", first skied down a mountain in France last December, at Val d'Isère, having learnt to ski aged 27 on an indoor slope in England.

His dream? To line up behind Bode in the Olympic GS at Sestriere, Feb 20th next, and to be the first black African in an Alpine skiing event.

Fantasy? Maybe. But Ghanaian Kwame has surprised a few sceptics in whittling his FIS points down to the mid-200s in the space of a few months racing in Europe last season, and South America over the summer. Not much time left though to reach the minimum Olympic qualifying standard...

Snow Leopard On The Hill ... Kwame's story
He wont be the first.
Lamine Guèye from Senegal competed in the olympics of 1992 and 1994 (maybe in the lates 80's also). I've seen him in the 1992's SL (I think it was SL anyway...) and, if my memories are correct, he was then an instructor in Tignes and the founder (and almost only member) of the senegalese ski federation.
post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by PG
I'm not engaging in tit for tat stupidity with you Fox....

Why not? You seem very well qualified.
post #18 of 21
phillipeR, thanks for pointing that out. Interesting man for sure:

http://www.humanite.fr/journal/2001-...1-12-17-255219

Quote:
Originally Posted by my cr@p translation of Lamine at trying to qualify for SLC
If they wish to make the Olympic Winter Games another meeting of the elite, a Super World Cup, they should say so
post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
Yes thanks for that. Interesting article comprex. I think the 'Leopard' might have to change his pitch! From the Humanité piece, it's not clear whether Gueye made it to Salt Lake City after the new qualification standards were introduced.

The "spirit of the Games" was evoked as a reason why the minimum standards were a bad idea, with only 15 nations represented in GS and 12 in slalom at Salt Lake as a direct consequence, nearly 50% down on previous Olympics.
post #20 of 21
He doesn't actually have a realistic chance of qualifying.

He needs to get his points down to 140 in either SL or GS by January 16 (assuming the Ghana Olympic Committee has applied for him and included him in their delegation).

The best he's done (in terms of FIS points) were 229.99 in a slalom in Argentina last summer and 230.33 in a GS in Iran last year. Looking at those two races, in order to have got down to 140 pts, he would have had to be about 16 or 17 seconds faster. That's a lot; and he has to do it twice (in one or the other event).

The most recent races (SL & GS ... he races in some Super G's, but he can't enter that in the Olympics anyway) he's finished were in Argentina and last season in France, in which he achieved:
- 280.44 pts (GS), about 23 seconds away from 140
- 402.81 pts (GS), nearly a minute away from 140
- 229.99 pts (SL), mentioned above
- 353.34 pts (GS), about 30 secons away
- 321.47 pts (GS), about 25 seconds away
- 363.18 pts (GS), about 32 seconds away

On the other hand, if he can arrange a couple FIS races with at least five pretty good racers, and convince everyone to go slow, he could make it (with a flexible Technical Delegate also).
post #21 of 21
Thread Starter 
He crashed in a FIS GS last week in Alleghe (Italy), so time is fast running out...
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