Maame Biney And Erin Jackson: Black Girl Magic Crashes Winter Olympics

Maame Biney is already a pioneer. Shes already broken the mold and image of what a Winter Olympics female speed skater looks like. 

Olympic Short Track Speedskating Trials | Maame Biney Wins First 500-Meter Final

Tune in to and NBCSN for more action from Olympic Trials.

America has seen an accomplished black speed skater before. At the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, American Shani Davis became the first black athlete to win a gold medal in an individual event at the Olympic Winter Games, winning the 1000 meter event.

The 18-year-old Biney is ready to even out the playing ground and infusing some Black girl magic into the 2018 Olympics by becoming the first African American woman speed skater to qualify for the Olympics. She crushed the field in the U.S. trials and is overflowing with talent. 

Olympic Short Track Speedskating Trials | 17-Year-Old Maame Biney Qualifies For First Olympic Team

Tune in to and NBCSN for more action from Olympic Trials.

“Obviously, my goal is to get the gold or get any medal, but my goal-goal is to just do my best, the best I can and put it all out there on the ice,” Biney toldthe Los Angeles Times. “And if I don’t get a medal, that’s OK. It just means I can get it next time. I’ll be back in ’22.”

Not to be overshadowed by her younger teammate, Erin Jackson joins Biney in this groundbreaking journey. In January, Jackson, 25, punched her ticket to Pyeongchang as a long-track skater. Jackson is a remarkable story as the roller-skating veteran had taken to the ice barely four months before she qualified for the Olympics. 

Olympic Long Track Speedskating Trials | Erin Jackson Is First Black U.S. Olympic Speedskater

Tune in to and NBCSN for more action from Olympic Trials.

Both women have backstories that only enhance their accomplishments. Biney was born in Ghana and lived there with her mother until she was five. Now she’s looking to pioneer a slice of history as a high school senior in America with a glowing personality who is about to be thrust into the limelight as a possible American Olympic star. 

Biney will be officially introduced to the world on Saturday, when she competes in the opening round of the 500 meters. She will also compete in the 1,500 meters, which is a tall task for a first-time Olympian. But from the looks of things, Biney doesnt feel the pressure and never gets a big head. The tough conditions in her home country is what helps her keep perspective. 

“I think it comes from the fact that I don’t take things for granted because I know that things back home aren’t as great as things in America,” she said. “I always just try to have a happy face and give everyone joy, which is good.”

Her father, a Ghanaian immigrant named Kweku Biney, was living in Maryland. The story Kweku has told numerous media outlets is that his daughter visited him, saw a J.C. Penney and insisted on staying in the United States.

TIME on Twitter

Meet Maame Biney, the first African-American female speedskater to qualify for the Olympics

With both the Jamaican and Nigerian womens bobsled teams competing in their first Winter Olympics, Binny’s groundbreaking short track speed skating debut fits right in with the storylines of Black Girl magic that took over the summer Olympics in Rio in 2016 and is poised to do the same in Pyeongchang, South Korea from February 9-Feb. 25th. 

Back to top