Just in time for a new wave of female empowerment and Black History month, February’s Woman of Impact is the 18-year-old Olympic athlete, Maame Biney. She will become the first African-American woman to represent the United States in Olympic speed skating – a feat in more ways than one (the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics takes place on February 9). Here are some fun facts about the star who’s already won over our hearts:
- Started speed skating at the tender age of six after she was told she was “too fast” to be a figure skater.
- She was raised by her single father, Kweku Biney, who has long been there for her — from the time she landed at Dulles after leaving her native country of Ghana at age 5.
- In high school, she was known for being “way too happy all of the time.” As told to CNN, “I love having people smile and laugh because if you’re smiling and laughing, then that means you’re happy, and being happy … is the best present you can ever give to anyone every single day, so I love doing that.”
4. As if her accomplishments weren’t enough, she’s also a high-performing student who aspires to be a chemical engineer.
5. Her ideal superpower? Stopping time for as long as she wanted to (we concur!).
Be sure to watch Maame in action below: