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Famous Olympian helmet stolen from Utah skeleton athlete


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KEARNS — There aren't many people on the planet as fast as Akwasi Frimpong, especially on ice.

"I get better every season," he said.

But not even his Olympic background as a skeleton athlete made him fast enough to remember his backpack left outside his Kearns home.

"It was in a span of like, four hours when I was home and it was stolen," he said.

Frimpong had just come home from a training camp in Canada this week. He was so happy to see his family that he forgot about that backpack he put down in front of his garage while carrying his sled and suitcase inside.

Home surveillance video from his neighbor shows his backpack in front of his garage. The person who stole it was too far away to trigger the motion detection, so you don't see anyone take it, but you do see a silver car speeding away with the backpack gone.

"This is my property, and somebody just walking onto my property and took that, something that doesn't belong to them," said Frimpong.

Inside that backpack was his cellphone, his Netherlands passport and his U.S. permanent residency card.

"I made a joke to my wife that I'm an illegal immigrant again," he said with a laugh.

Surveillance video shows a car in front of Olympic skeleton athlete Akwasi Frimpong's house. Frimpong's backpack is in front of his garage before someone stole it.
Surveillance video shows a car in front of Olympic skeleton athlete Akwasi Frimpong's house. Frimpong's backpack is in front of his garage before someone stole it. (Photo: Surveillance video)

Frimpong can joke about it, but what he really wants back is his racing helmet.

"That skeleton helmet is very important to me. It's very unique. There's only one of them in the world," he said.

That Black Panther helmet is well known on the World Cup skeleton circuit.

It's also the helmet he wore during the mini-documentary "Black Ice," which is about Frimpong becoming Africa's first black male skeleton Olympian and Ghana's second-ever Winter Olympian in 2018.

"The Black Panther helmet stands for unification, pride, and culture and the part to do good," said Frimpong. "It's unfortunate it's been taken away from me right now."

That's why he's hoping whoever took it will return it or even leave it on his steps with no questions asked.

As fast as possible.

"For sure. There are no hard feelings," he said. "I just want my things back. That's all."

Frimpong and his neighbors have raised a $1,000 reward for information leading to his helmet.

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Alex Cabrero
Alex Cabrero has been reporting for KSL-TV for nearly two decades. He has covered a variety of stories over the years from a variety of places, but he particularly enjoys sharing stories that show what's good in the world.

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