Maame Biney Becomes First Black Woman on U.S. Olympic Speedskating Team
The 17-year-old Ghanaian-American Maame Biney made history in the first 500 final.
Virginia teen Maame Biney won the women’s 500-meter A final race during the U.S. Olympic short track speedskating trials on Saturday, beating Olympians Lana Gehring, Jessica Kooreman and Katherine Reutter-Adamek. This makes Biney the first Black woman in history to qualify for the title.
Biney, who was born in Ghana and grew up in Reston, Virginia, will be the second black speedskater ever on a U.S. Olympic team, following Shani Davis— who was 19 when he qualified for the short track team in 2002.
Biney won five out of six races on game day, including the final, with a personal-best time of 43.161 seconds.
“I can’t believe it! Aww geez!” ESPN reports Biney exclaimed after her victory. “It’s a really good feeling, but it has to set in first because it takes me a while. I’m like, ‘holy cow.”’
Before the second final, her father held up a sign reading: “Kick some hiney Biney.” And that, she did.
The 2018 Winter Olympics will take place in Pyeongchang, South Korea this February.