Home Living Today Sports Skater Maame Biney: First U.S. black woman in her sport by Tim Ellsworth

Skater Maame Biney: First U.S. black woman in her sport by Tim Ellsworth

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GANGNEUNG, South Korea (BP) — It’s hard to watch Maame Biney compete and not smile. After all she’s smiling, so it’s easy just to join in.

Biney, the 18-year-old U.S. short-track speed skater, is making her Olympic debut this year in South Korea, and she couldn’t be more thrilled. She’s the first black woman from the United States ever to compete in an Olympic speed skating event.

“The smile on my face doesn’t mean my life is perfect,” Biney says on her Instagram profile. “It means I appreciate what I have and what God has blessed me with.”

Biney, who was born in Ghana, moved to the United States at age 5 to live with her father in Reston, Va. Kweku Biney saw a sign advertising skating lessons one day and, on a whim asked his daughter if she wanted to try it.

She was an instant success. The coach told her father that Biney was too fast to be a figure skater and suggested speed skating instead.

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