Pulse Ghana has recently released a video highlighting members of Ghana’s weightlifting federation, a relatively new sporting body founded in 1997. Though weightlifting in the country is still young, it’s quickly built a following, and the video highlights a packed training session in the national training center in Accra (Ghana’s capital).
It’s a short but impactful look at how a dedicated group of weightlifting enthusiasts brought legitimacy to the sport in a country better known for soccer and boxing. In the face of bureaucracy and a basically nonexistent public profile, Ghana’s weightlifting team grew from a dream in the mid-1990s to a legitimate international federation that just qualified its second athlete for the Olympics.
What’s perhaps most surprising about the video is the team’s sense of grounded realism. We’re used to seeing big egos and bigger promises from some of the worlds’ top athletes, at least in mainstream sports. International weightlifting tends to be a bit more reserved, and the Ghanaian lifters know full well they won’t be bringing home Olympic medals anytime soon. For now, their focus is on qualifying lifters for international competitions and competing well against the established continental powerhouses in Africa.
In London, Ghana qualified its first athlete for the Olympics. For Rio, Ghana has qualified its second: 85kg lifter Christian Amoah, who at just 17 years old is one of the youngest weightlifters competing in this year’s Olympic Games.
Amoah has several international competitions under his belt, including the 2015 World Weightlifting Championships in Houston and the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. At his young age, it’s not crazy to think Amoah could have two or even three (heck, four) potential quads left in his career.