Team USA speedskater Maame Biney’s historic Olympic run ended when she raced to a last-place finish in the 1,500-meter event on Feb. 17 at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics.
Maame Biney of the United States in action during the ladies’ 500 meters short-track speedskating in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Biney made history as the first African-American woman to qualify for the U.S. speedskating team. But the 18-year-old Reston, Va. native finished the women’s 1,500-meter race with a time of 2 minutes, 31.819 seconds, dead last in a field of six. She also finished last in the women’s 500-meter race on Feb. 13.
Despite her performance, Biney was in great spirits and joked with the media, telling The Washington Post that she’s actually a little happy that her training is over for now and she can eat what she wants. But she also mentioned that she’s already looking forward to the 2022 Olympics.
“I’m going to do a lot more work. I’m not going to stick with what I’m doing,” Biney told the Post. “I’m going to work harder, so next time I can be on the podium hopefully.”
Biney was one of seven Black Americans who made history in this year’s Winter Olympics, including fellow speedskaters Shani Davis and Erin Jackson.
Davis made history back in 2006 as the first African-American athlete to ever win a gold medal in an individual Winter Olympic event. He’s since won four Gold medals over four different Olympics, but the 35-year-old Chicago native finished in 19th place in this year’s men’s 1,500-meter race on Feb. 13. He’ll race again in the men’s 1,000-meter event, scheduled for Feb. 23.
Jackson, 25, also made history as the first Black woman to make the long-track team, despite first learning how to skate on ice just four months ago. She finished in 24th place in the women’s 500-meter race on Feb. 18.
Four other Black Americans in the Winter Olympics include bobsled team members Elana Meyers Taylor, Kehri Jones and Aja Evans. Bobsled events are scheduled for Feb. 19, Feb. 21 and Feb. 25.
Jordan Greenway, 21, became the first Black man to make the U.S. Olympic men’s hockey team, but Team USA lost its final group stage game to Russia, 4-0, on Feb. 17. The U.S. hockey team will need to win a qualification game on Feb. 20 to avoid elimination.