1st BLACK WOMAN SPEEDSKATER

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Maame Biney PHOTO BY: Rick Bowmer/The Associated Press

December 18, 2017

By Staff, “The Gist”

Maame Biney became the 1st black woman to qualify for a U.S. Olympic speedskating team! The 17-year-old Ghanian-American cruised to victory in the 1st final at the trials this past Saturday, beating previous Olympian competitors.

“I can’t believe it, aww geez,” she said. “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 her 2nd final, her father, Kweku, sitting in the stands held up a sign reading: “Kick some hiney Biney.” She sure did! Biney is thankful for his support. “He’s been through everything and I’m amazed by him,” she told reporters. “I just want to thank him a lot for everything.”

WHO IS MAAME BINEY?

Biney grew up around the Dominion Speedskating Club in the Reston suburbs of Washington, DC. She left her native Ghana at the tender age of 5 years, to visit her father, in the U.S. She fell in love with this country and decided to stay. A year later Kweku Biney enrolled his daughter in figure skating, but her speed on the ice didn’t quite work for the sport. At the suggestion of a coach, she switched to speedskating and never looked back!

Like most teenager girls, Biney has a VERY ACTIVE life. Some of her goals and favorite things;

She would like to be a chemical engineer…Started speed skating at the age of 6…Was told she was going too fast to be a figure skater so switched to speed skating…Participated in taekwondo up until 2015…In high school she was known for being way too happy all of the time…She can do chemistry all day…If she could have a superpower she would stop time for as long as she wanted to…Favorite place speed skating has taken you: Austria…Favorite speed skating moment: Watching the 2014 Olympic Trials…Favorite quote: “Laugh until you can’t laugh anymore”…Favorite food: Any type of meat…Favorite music: Pop…Favorite movie: Titanic – it makes her cry every time.

BECOMING AN OLYMPIAN

Biney set a blistering pace in taking an early lead that widened as the wild and woolly race went on. She crossed the finish line, in the 500 meter race, on the hockey-sized rink and began clapping and then pumping her arms so hard she lost her balance and fell.

She went down laughing all the way.

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

Biney will be the 2nd Black speedskater on a U.S. Olympic team. Shani Davis was 19 when he qualified for the short track team in 2002. He later switched to long track and won 4 medals, including 2 golds.

Congratulations and good luck in Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018!

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