When heavyweight boxer Maxwell Amponsah leads Ghana’s contingent as flag bearer into London’s Olympic stadium at the at the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games this evening, he will be carrying not only the hopes of Ghanaians but also a resolve by his teammates to excel in honour of Ghana’s former president John Evans Atta Mills who passed on last Tuesday.
Morale in Ghana’s camp sunk after news about the ex-president reached officials and athletes, but with the XXX Olympiad set to swing into action after today’s opening ceremony Ghana’s long jump great Ignisious Gaisah says his colleagues have resolved to excel in honour of the president.
“In the beginning, it was very sad. But then, it has happened and there is nothing we can do.“We have to brace ourselves and do our very best at the Olympics to honour his name,” Gaisah said.
Ghana will be among a host of nations who will be taking part in today’s parade which will officially usher in the world’s hosting of the most prestigious sporting extravaganza in front of a worldwide audience.
According to officials of the Ghana Olympic Committee, 25-year-old Amponsah was chosen to lead Ghana’s team at the ceremony due to his good leadership qualities and his dedication to the country.
The Seconds-Out Boxing Gym boxer only recovered in time for the Olympic Games after breaking his jaw during the African Olympic Boxing qualifiers in Morocco earlier this year.
Amponsah, who is making his debut appearance at the Olympic Games, has been competing for the country since 2008, winning a bronze medal at the 2011 All African Games in Maputo, Mozambique. He also doubles as the team leader of the national boxing team, the Black Bombers.
The Black Wolf, as he is affectionately called, started boxing in 2004 after joining the Jah Bless Boxing Gym in Mamprobi.
Previously a national Taekwondo athlete, Maxwell shifted his interest to boxing after watching a bout between Oscar De la Hoya and Bernard Hopkins.