Maame Biney made history on Saturday, becoming the first black woman to join the United States Olympic speedskating team. After making quick work of her fellow Olympians—Lana Gehring, Jessica Kooreman, and Katherine Reutter-Adamek—in the first 500 final at the short track trials, Biney needed to keep the momentum going to see her Olympic dreams officially come true in the second final.
With her father sitting in the stands, showing his support with a sign reading, "Kick some hiney, Biney," the 17-year-old native of Ghana did just that. After jumping out to a scorching start, Biney kept her blistering pace while keeping a safe distance from the rest of the pack. It was another easy victory for Maame. While speaking with reporters, Biney struggled to find the right words to describe her emotions at the moment. "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.'"
As for the celebration which led to her fall on the ice, Biney said, "When I realized I made the Olympic team, I started cheering like crazy and then I made my epic fall. So, yeah, you're welcome."
Biney is the second black speedskater to qualify for a U.S. Olympic team, joining Shani Davis who made the squad when he was 19 years old.