We interrupt this hockey blog to give a Color of Hockey big shout-out to Maame Biney, who became the first African-American woman to make the U.S. Olympic speedskating team.
The 17-year-old short track skater from Reston, Virginia, punched her ticket to PyeongChang, South Korea, in February with a dominating performance at the U.S. Olympic trials over the weekend in Kerns, Utah.
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She swept the women’s 500-meter finals with a 43.291 finishing time in her first final and a personal-best 43.161 in the second 500-meter final.
“When I crossed the finish line, I wasn’t sure what I was thinking,” Biney said. “At first I was like, “‘Hey, cool, I won.’ When I realized I made the Olympic team, I started cheering like crazy.”
Her father was apparently pumped, too. He held up a sign before her second final that read “Kick Some Hiney Biney.”
is no stranger to international competition. She won a bronze medal in the 2016-17 Short Track World Junior Championship and was a member of the 2015-16 U.S. world junior short track team.
While she’s the first African-American woman to make the U.S. Olympic speedskating team, African-American women have an illustrious history of participation in other Winter Games sports.
was the first African-American athlete to win an Olympic gold medal when her two-person bobsled finished first at the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah.
captured a bronze medal at the 1988 Winter Games in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, in figure skating. The 2014 women’s Olympic bobsled team that competed in Sochi, Russia, featured five
black women. The 2018 team could be mostly minority
Biney began speedskating at age 6 after she was told she was too fast for figure skating. She’s an alum of the Fort Dupont Kids on Ice Speedskating, a Washington, D.C. program that was conducted at one of the few ice skating rinks
in the United States located in a largely African-American neighborhood.
According to her Team USA bio, she wants to be a chemical engineer. She said that if she could have any super-power it would be the ability to freeze time.
Apparently, she already has the ability to crush it.
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