Ghana's Akwasi Frimpong is seeking a return to the Winter Olympics having missed out on Beijing 2022 ©Getty Images

Ghanaian skeleton racer Akwasi Frimpong has launched an appeal for the country's first female Olympian in the sport to compete with him on the debut of the mixed team event at the Milan Cortina 2026 Winter Olympics.

Skeleton has featured a men's and women's event since returning to the Olympic programme at Salt Lake City 2002, but the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation was successful in its application to add the mixed team event featuring one female and one male athlete at Milan Cortina 2026.

Frimpong featured at Pyeongchang 2018 but missed out on Beijing 2022, criticising the qualification system for the Games.

He was the first athlete to represent Ghana in skeleton at a Winter Olympics, and is now targeting an appearance in the new medal event at Milan Cortina 2026.

Frimpong delivered his search for "a Ghanian female athlete to take on a challenge with me" through a social media campaign publicised by the Bobsled and Skeleton Federation-Ghana (BSF Ghana).

"I'm currently working hard to qualify for the individual event, but would love to train and support a Ghanaian female athlete to also qualify individually for the skeleton event and together qualify for the team event."

Interested athletes have been invited to contact Frimpong through social media, and must have a Ghanian passport or parents or grandparents born in Ghana.

No African athletes competed in sliding events at Beijing 2022, with six qualifying in skiing.

Frimpong called for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to give African athletes a "seat at the table" to discuss a way to increase the number of participants prior to Milan Cortina 2026.

Sliding events at Milan Cortina 2026 are due to take place in the Cortina d'Ampezzo cluster at the Cortina Sliding Centre.

The Organising Committee is proceeding with plans to renovate the sliding venue, which hosted Olympic competition in 1956 but closed in 2008 due to rising maintenance costs.

The IOC Evaluation Commission had previously recommended using alternative venues such as Innsbruck in Austria and St Moritz in Switzerland, but this was rejected by Milan Cortina 2006.