First Black Woman
in Her Sport
Maame Biney is an 18 yr. old short-track speed skater from the U.S. She is the first black woman from the U.S. to ever compete in an Olympic speed skating event.
How did Maame become the first U.S. black woman in her sport when she was born in Ghana? At the age of 5, Maame moved to the U.S. to live with her father in Reston, Va. Shortly after moving there her father saw a sign advertising skating lessons and on a whim asked his daughter if she wanted to give it a try. She said “yes” and, according to her coach, was an “instant success.” The coach told Maame’s father, “Your daughter is too fast to be a figure skater. She should try speed skating instead.” She did and 13 years later she is in the 2018 Olympics. She came in 2nd in the qualifying heat of the women’s 500 meters enabling her to advance to the quarterfinals that were held last Tuesday.
Maame has a contagious smile that was very visible after finishing second in her qualifying heat (see the picture above). After qualifying, Maame posted an update on Instagram thanking her many supports and giving thanks to the Lord. Part of her post said, “I want to start off by thanking God because I am so sure none of this would have happened if it wasn’t for Him. If God hadn’t given my dad the strength to wake up, and take me to practice, I wouldn’t be here at the Olympics today. I thank God for giving me the passion to do this.”
To her church family she wrote, “Without your prayers for safe travels and successful competitions, I honestly don’t believe that my dad and I would have made it this far.”
Her next competition is the women’s 1500 – meters on Saturday. When asked about her wonderful smile she said, “The smile on my face doesn’t mean my life is perfect. It means I appreciate what I have and what God has blessed me with.”
Until next time,
 All quotes are from ‘Baptist Press,’ written by Tim Ellsworth, sports correspondent for ‘Baptist Press’, who is covering the Winter Olympics in South Korea. Tim is also the associate vice president for university communications at Union University in Jackson, Tenn.