Olympic notebook: 'Snow Leopard' spotted in Vancouver

But it's a skier from Ghana, not the Apple operating system, that has caught people's eye at the Winter Games.

Ina Fried Former Staff writer, CNET News
During her years at CNET News, Ina Fried changed beats several times, changed genders once, and covered both of the Pirates of Silicon Valley.
Ina Fried
3 min read

VANCOUVER, B.C.--There's been a lot of attention in Vancouver about a certain Snow Leopard, but this one comes from a lot farther away than Cupertino, Calif.

Ghanan skier Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong, who happens to have the same nickname as Mac OS X 10.6, has won attention as the only representative from the African nation at these Winter Games. The Snow Leopard is slated to race on Saturday in the men's slalom race at Whistler.

Ghanan skier Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong, nicknamed the Snow Leopard, seen here with an actual snow leopard. Ghanaskiteam.com

Part of his nickname comes from the fact that he supports the Snow Leopard Trust, an organization devoted to protecting the endangered wild cat.

According to an article in the Times of London, Nkrumah-Acheampong got his skiing start in 2003, working as a receptionist at a British indoor ski center, where he had access to gear and the ski runs.

To help fund his Olympic journey, the Snow Leopard has been selling various goods on his Web site.

But Nkrumah-Acheampong hopes that other Ghanans will have access to better support for skiing, with hopes to get more coaching and a grass slope in Ghana where skiers could train.

"I am a guinea pig and an experiment but I believe a skier from Ghana could compete at the top level with the right support and a little time," he said on his Web site.

This is a mere thumbnail of Vancouver, B.C.-based artist Eric Deis' gigapixel image (click to view), which comprises more than 700 shots. Eric Deis

A gigapixel view of the games
With all its many venues and pavilions, the Games can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you are trying to see the big picture. I've been all over, but I was still taken aback by this incredible gigapixel image that provides a view of downtown Vancouver, the Olympic Village and many of the city venues.

The image was taken by Vancouver-based artist Eric Deis.

Deis took over three hours to take the image, which was shot on Monday morning and comprises over 700 shots that add up to a complete image with 2.5 gigapixels.

The Coke index
As an official sponsor, Coca-Cola products are everywhere. That means no matter where I am, I can feed my Diet Coke/Coke Zero addiction. However, the cost of doing so varies widely.

The same bottle of soda costs $1.99 at the McDonald's at the main press center, $2.50 at the secondary hockey arena, and a full $4 at the figure skating venue. But the best deal of all is at the unofficial BCMC press center in Robson Square. There Coke has a table where reporters can get tokens good for two free drinks a day.

The Olympics, on sale
Although lines remain at the main Olympic store, the balance of supply and demand is starting to tilt when it comes to official Olympic gear.

For several days now, chain London Drugs has been offering half off all its official products, from stuffed Quatchis to scarves to pins to postcards.

Sportchek, which had been offering T-shirts, jackets, and sweatshirts at "buy one get the second half off," switched today to buy one get one free on all its official Olympic wear. But, as those who know me will attest, I'm cheap. So if readers know of even better deals, do drop me a line.

Also, as a reminder, for those that want more from Vancouver, I'm also doing a blog for CBSSports.com that includes less techie items, such as a preview of the U.S.-Canada gold medal women's hockey game and a look at figure skater Johnny Weir's response to Canadian broadcasters who questioned his gender.