Team AccuWeather Coverage of Winter Games
The Winter Olympics can be a chilling experience for athletes from countries known for their tropical climates. We're going to highlight a few:
The Snow Leopard
Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong is the first person from Ghana to ski his way into the Winter Games. He'll be participating in the Vancouver games after growing up in West Africa where temperatures are usually above 70 F year round.
He first practiced skiing on artificial slopes in 2000 after moving to England. In 2006, he just missed qualifying for the Winter Games in Turino, Italy. It's very impressive that Kwame has become an Olympic skier in less than 10 years!
A Puerto Rican Luger
George Tucker of San Juan, Puerto Rico was the only representative from that country to participate in the 1984 Winter Olympics. Although he grew up with year round high temperatures in the 80s, as a doctoral student at Wesleyan University in the U.S., he was no stranger to snow.
He returned as a luger with other teammates from Puerto Rico in the 1988 Winter Games in Calgary. Although he finished last in his first appearance, he was a fan and media outlet favorite for his comical depiction of himself as the "luger who dripped blood."
The Bobsled Team from Jamaica
The Jamaican Bobsled Team, which competed in the 1988 games, also inspired the 1993 Disney film Cool Runnings. The athletes, who were originally interested in track and field but never qualified for that year's Summer Games, found interest in the bobsled because of the initial push-off sprint.
Jamaica, a tropical paradise, is known for year-round temperatures between 80 and 90 F. Vancouver, even with milder winters and average February temperatures in the low 40s, makes for a drastic temperature difference for warm-weather athletes.