Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Black History: Speed Skaters Erin Jackson & Maame Biney Ready for Beijing Winter Olympics

Maame Afua Biney, Short-Track speed skater

As we gear up for the winter olympics, you best believe that Black Girl Magic is going to show up and show out. Two to watch out for is Maame Afua Biney, a 22-year-old, short-track speed skater who is studying psychology at the University of Utah. The other 29-year-old long track speed skater Erin Jackson, from Ocala, Florida, who’s entering in her second Olympic Games.

Before becoming an Olympic speed skater, Jackson was skating on a slightly different surface. She started out as an inline skater in Ocala, Florida. And, she’s also a roller derby player, and a 12-time Inline World Championship medalist, per team USA. In November in Poland, Jackson became the first Black woman to win a speed skating event, and her recent dominance includes winning four out of eight World Cup 500-meter races this season, plus a second- and third-place finish.

Edit: Erin Jackson made history as the first Black woman speed skater to take home the gold medal at the 2022 Winter Olympics Games

Born in Accra, Ghana, Maame moved to Virginia at age five and started skating when her father happened to pass a skating rink. In 2018, she became the first-ever Black woman named to the U.S. Olympic speed skating team and competed in Pyeongchang. She went on to become the first Black woman (and youngest of any gender ) to make the sport’s national team. She’s so focused on mental preparation through meditation, could account for her capabilities of reaching speeds up to 31 mph. Biney won the bronze medal in the 500-meters at the 2017 World Junior Short Track Speed Skating Championships. She made her senior team debut later that year winning the America’s Cup at the U.S Speedskating Short Track World Cup Qualifier. On December 16, 2017, Biney qualified for the 2018 Olympics by winning the 500-meters at the U.S. Olympic Trials, becoming the second African-born athlete to represent the U.S. at the Winter Olympics.

The speedster is quoted in Vogue magazine saying,

“I think that’s the one thing that is different from me being 18 and now being 22: I feel more mentally prepared for the day ahead—not just physically prepared, but mentally prepared.”

Let’s go ladies we’re rooting for you!

Prime-time coverage of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics can be watched daily Beginning February 4 at 8 Pm ET on NBC.

Erin Jackson, Long-Track Speed Racer

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