1. "Snow Leopard" is the nickname of Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong, the first Olympic skier from the nation of Ghana. He became a world media sensation in 2010 when he qualified to ski in the Vancouver Olympic Games.
Kwame, 31, grew up in Accra, Ghana, where the average temperature is about 79 degrees F and it has never snowed during his lifetime. He learned to ski only six years ago at artificial snow dome in Milton Keynes, England, where he previously worked as a receptionist.
Despite having no sponsors and very little money, he was able to represent Ghana in the men's slalom event thanks to the generosity of friends and relatives. His special "Snow Leopard" pin became the hottest item in Vancouver as athletes from around the world raced to snap them up. (Only 1,500 were made.)
A father and animal lover, he has a small foundation devoted to the preservation of actual snow leopards in Africa.
2. A very cool guy who knows how to ski very fast.
3. The pride of Africa in this year's Winter Olympics.
I'm flying to Vancouver to see "The Snow Leopard" compete in the men's slalom event. Bang those gates, baby!
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