December 8, 2023

Sports Illustrated and Empower Onyx spotlight the diverse journeys of Black women in sports—from veteran athletes to rising stars, coaches, executives and more—in the series, Elle-evate: 100 Influential Black Women in Sports.

Maame Biney is strong, powerful, confident and focused—not just as a two-time Olympic sprinter, but as a young black woman. It’s been a journey for her to be in the place she is now, a place she now understands she belongs and deserves to be in, but the road has been anything but smooth.

Speedskating was a sport that entered her life by accident. Raised by a single father, Biney’s dad enrolled her in skating to keep his six-year-old daughter busy. Her coach noticed how fast and strong she was and suggested she switch from figure skating to speed skating. She continued skating not with Olympic dreams in mind, but because it became a place where she felt happy and confident.

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