Program Success January 2018 - Page 15

Looks Like Black Girls Are About to Dominate Speedskating in the 2018 Winter Olympics The Winter Olympics may just finally be worth watching, on Friday, Erin Jackson became the first Black woman to qualify for the U.S. Olympic long- track Speedskating Team, and the third ever African American to make the U.S. Olympics team for Speedskating, mere months after taking up the sport. Erin Jackson The 25-year-old Floridian finished third, coming in at 39.04 seconds in the 500-meter race in Milwaukee. She now joins 17-year-old Maame Biney, who recently became the first Black woman to qualify for the U.S. Speedskating Team with her short-track triumph in mid-December. We ’bout to see all the #BlackGirlMagic during the Winter Olympics in South Korea. Maame Biney, a Reston, Va. Native says “I can’t believe it, aww geez. It’s a really good feeling, but it has to set in first because it takes me a while. I’m like, ‘Holy cow.’” After Maame qualified, she let her teen euphoria get the best of her and came tumbling down on the ice, but she popped back up like Beyoncé and took it all in stride. Maame, whose parents are Ghanaian, will be the second Black speed skater on a U.S. Olympic Team. Shani Davis was 19 when he qualified for the short- track team in 2002. He later switched to long track and won four medals, including two golds, according to USA Today. And in case you’re wondering how her last name is pronounced, her father cleared all that up with a sign he held from the stands on Saturday: “Kick Some Hiney Biney.” Maame Biney