U.S. speedskater Maame Biney finished last in her 1,500-meter short-track heat on Saturday, ending her trailblazing run at the Winter Olympics.
The 18-year-old Biney is the first black woman on the U.S. Olympic short-track team ― and indeed the first black woman to make either Team USA Olympic speedskating squad. She qualified for the games before long-track racer Erin Jackson, who is also black.
“I am super honored to be able to be part of this, because I know that us African-American girls and women haven’t been able to be in this situation before,” Biney told HuffPost before the Pyeongchang Games. “I’m really honored to inspire other women, African-American or any other race, to get out there and do what you can and succeed.”
On Saturday, Biney briefly took the lead early in the race but then faded out of contention. (Leslie Jones of “Saturday Night Live” posted footage of the heat, below.)
The American athlete finished in a time of 2 minutes, 31.819 seconds in the field of six ― nearly two seconds behind the third and last qualifier from the heat, Valerie Maltais of Canada.