Maame Biney is the 1st African-American woman speedskater to participate in the U.S. Olympics. The 18-year-old is the first black woman to qualify for a US speed skating Olympic team. She hasn’t even graduated high school and has already made history.
Here are a few things to know about her:
Maame Biney was born in Ghana, and first came to the U.S. when she was five years old, to visit her father, who lived in Maryland. She then ended up staying with her father. Her father says that after he took her to visit a J.C. Penney store, she wanted to stay in the U.S! Her mother runs a salon in Ghana.
Maame started skating at a young age, with figure skating, but her coach soon suggested speed skating. She spotted a sign that advertised skating while driving down a street with her father. And that is how her journey with skating began.
She will participate in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics on February 9th. The speed skating team also has a long-track skater, Erin Jackson. She became the second African-American woman to make the U.S. speed skating team after Biney.
“Being the first African-American girl on this Olympic Team is really awesome because that means that young African-American girls, or any other race for that matter, could go out there, find an ice rink, and just try it out,” Biney told CNN. “You never know, you could be the next Olympian.
Biney will race in the opening round of the 500 meters. She will also compete in the 1,500 meters on this Saturday.
She is still in high school and doing her coursework online, so that she can graduate with the rest of her friends. Biney wants to attend college and study chemical engineering.
Talk about hard work and talent! We can’t wait to see where she goes.