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Updated: February 8, 2018
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(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photo by Henk Seppen & Michael Davidson)

Amsterdam Pirates-Physio participant in Olympic Winter Games

DAEGWALLYEONG-MYEON, PYEONGCHANG-GUN, Gangwon Province (South Korea) - Michael Davidson, the longtime Physical Therapist of the big league baseball-team of L&D Amsterdam Pirates, will be a participant in the 23rd Olympic Winter Games, which opens on Friday (February 9) and takes place in Pyeongchang, a country south-southeast of capital Seoul.

...Michael Davidson...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Michael Davidson played for Pirates as a pitcher when the club was known as Rap and in those years, his father Dolf was a member of the board of the Amsterdam-based club. Davidson, who works for ManualFysion, will not be active as an athlete himself during the Games, but he will be the Physical Therapist of Akwasi Frimpong, who will be participating in skeleton. Frimpong was born in Ghana, but at age eight, he moved to the Netherlands, where he raised in Amsterdam. It took him and his parents 13 years to obtain a Dutch residence permit. During the Olympics, he will represent Ghana and with that, Davidson also will represent the African country.

Frimpong had to be listed in the top-60 of the qualification list to earn a ticket to South Korea. On January 14, he was ranked in 55th place, meaning he qualified for the Olympic Games as a representative of Ghana. He will be the lone athlete from Ghana and also will carry the National Flag during the Opening Ceremony on Friday.

In 2012, as a talented sprinter, Frimpong already tried to participate in the Olympic Summer Games in London (Great Britain) as a sprinter, but then was unsuccessful to qualify due to an Achilles-injury. He then became a member of the Dutch Bobsled Team, but didn't made the team for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi (Russia). Frimpong, who went on to live in Salt Lake City (USA), then decided to transfer to the sport of skeleton.

...Michael Davidson & Akwasi Frimpong enjoying...
...themselves with the Olympic Mascot... Pyeongchang...
(© Photo courtesy of Michael Davidson)
In this winter season, Frimpong colleted enough points during Intercontinental Cup-games to qualify for Pyeongchang. Frimpong, who turns 32 on February 11, gets into action on February 15 and 16. It marks only the second time that Ghana participates in the Winter Games. The first time was in 2010 in Vancouver (Canada) when Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong participated in alpine skiing.

After having won the Netherlands Junior-championship 200-meter sprint in 2003, Frimpong sustained a severe ankle injury It was Michael Davidson, who closely followed Frimpong's career, who then started to support the athlete and offered his services for one (!) symbolic Euro. However, it took three years for him to recover.

In following years, Frimpong was awarded a scholarship for Utah Valley University and moved to the USA. There, he started running again and won the gold medal at the 4x400 meter at the Great West Indoor Championships. Davidson always has stayed in contact and supported Frimpong, treating him when needed.

In 2013, he was selected for the Dutch Bobsled Team and later founded the Ghana Bobsled and Skeleton Federation.

In 2017, Frimpong, who accomplished several achievements and won awards frequently, became an Ambassador of Right To Play. The Netherlands Women Softball Team is Ambassador of this charity-organization since 2009.

It marks the eleventh time that a member of Amsterdam Pirates participates in the Olympic Games, but Michael Davidson becomes the first to be active in the Olympic Winter Games. The other Pirates-members who participated in the Olympic Summer Games are Ronald Stoovelaar (baseball, 1988, Seoul, South Korea), Sonja Pannen (softball, 1996, Atlanta, USA), Michael Crouwel (baseball, 2000, Sydney, Australia), Rikkert Faneyte (baseball, 2000, Sydney, Australia), Remy Maduro (baseball, 2000, Sydney, Australia), Charles Urbanus (bench coach baseball, 2000, Sydney, Australia), Sidney de Jong (baseball, 2008, Beijing, China), Pim Walsma (baseball, 2008, Beijing, China), Caroline Theunissen (supporting staff softball, 2008, Beijing, China) and Marco Stoovelaar (supporting staff softball, 2008, Beijing, China).

(February 8)

Website Akwasi Frimpong

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