17-Year-Old Makes History As First Black Woman To Qualify For U.S. Olympic Speed Skating Team


December 17, 2017

Photo credit: Jeffery Swinger/USA Today

More Black girl magic is headed to the 2018 Winter Olympics! 

After securing a victory in the 500-meter final at the U.S. Olympic short track trials on Saturday, 17-year-old Maame Biney became the first Black woman to qualify for the U.S. Olympic speed skating team. Now, Biney, who was born in Ghana and moved to Virginia at age 5, will be going to Pyeongchang, South Korea in February to compete in the Winter Games. 


“When I realized that I made the Olympic team, I started cheering like crazy and then I made my epic fall,” Biney said.

Photo credit: Rick Bowmer/ AP Photo 

Her incredible feat comes a little over a month after Nigerian women’s bobsled team of driver Seun Adigun and brake women Ngozi Onwumere and Akuonma Omega qualified for the upcoming games to become the first African team to qualify in the bobsled category.


The 17-year-old also follows in the footsteps of Shani Davis, who became the first Black speed skater to qualify for the U.S. Olympic team in 2002. 

“I can’t believe it, aww geez,” said Biney in a post-race interview. “It’s a really good feeling, but it has to set in first because it takes me a while.”  



Congratulations, Maame! We’ll be rooting for you.

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