Seventeen-year-old Maame Biney made history by becoming the first African American woman to qualify for the U.S. Olympic speedskating team in the 2018 Winter Games.
Born in Accra, Ghana, on January 28, 2000, Biney moved to the USA at the age of 5, and discovered her passion for the ice in Reston, Virginia. She started skating lessons at six years old, first with figure skating lessons, then switched to speed skating on a coach’s recommendation.
According to Anthony Barthell, national short track coach, she’s a natural athlete, who has the potential to be one of the top girls in the world. She earned first place during the first 500 meters at the short track trials in december 2017, beating Olympians Lana Gehring, Jessica Kooreman, and Katherine Reutter-Adamek.
Olympic Short Track Speedskating Trials December 2017
Biney will become the second African-born athlete to represent the U.S. at the Winter Olympics. The first was biathlete Dan Westover, who was born in Madagascar and competed at the 1998 Nagano Winter Games. Biney will be the second African American speed skater to join a U.S. Olympic team. In 2002, Shani Davis became the first black athlete to win an individual gold medal at the Winter Olympics.