This year has been groundbreaking for Black women in sports with everything from Sloane Stephens defeating Madison Keys for the U.S. Open title to Nigeria’s women’s bobsled team making history as the first African team to qualify for that category in the Olympics. As the year winds down, the #BlackGirlMagic continues. Maame Biney made history as the first Black woman to make the U.S. Olympic speedskating team, NBC News reported.
Biney, who hails from Ghana, qualified for the team after winning two 500-meter finals. The 17-year-old squared off against Katherine Reutter-Adamek, Jessica Kooreman, and Lana Gehring, who are all Olympians. During the 500-meter final she started and finished off stron, ultimately outpacing her opponents.
“When I realized that I made the Olympic team, I started cheering like crazy,” said Biney. “I can’t believe it, aww geez. It’s a really good feeling, but it has to set in first because it takes me a while. I’m like, ‘holy cow.'”
This win makes her the first Black woman to be selected as a speed skater for a U.S. Olympic team and the second Black person to have the opportunity. Shani Davis, a decorated Olympian, made the short track team five years ago when he was 19.
Even Biney’s opponents can’t deny her potential. “She’s a fighter. She enjoys what she does. She’s energetic and brings good enthusiasm,” Kooreman told NBC Sports. “It’s nice to have new blood out there and young blood that’s wanting to learn and excited to just skate every day.”