The US Olympic speedskating team already made history this year

A black woman is now on the U.S. Olympic speedskating team. Maame Biney recently qualified for the 2018 Winter Olympics — making her the first black woman and only the second black speedskater to ever join the U.S. team.

The 17-year-old is originally from Ghana.

"Since speedskating or any ice sport isn't an option back in Africa, I would just tell all the little kids back there just to find something that you love," Biney told Voice of America.

SEE MORE: An All-Black African Team Is Trying To Make A First In Cycling

Biney grew up in Virginia, where she first got into figure skating. Her speed got her some attention.

"The first day she got on the ice, I was scared, you know. I thought she was going to break her head open," said Biney's father, Kweku Biney.

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US speedskater Maame Biney
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US speedskater Maame Biney
INNSBRUCK, AUSTRIA - JANUARY 28: Maame Biney of United States smiles during the World Junior Short Track Speed Skating Championships Day 1 at Olympiaworld on January 28, 2017 in Innsbruck, Austria. (Photo by Christof Koepsel - ISU/ISU via Getty Images)
INNSBRUCK, AUSTRIA - JANUARY 28: (L-R) Sofia Prosvirnova of Russia presnets her silver medal, Yu Bin Lee of Korea presents her gold medal and Maame Biney of United States presnets her bronze medal on the podium of the 500m ladies of the World Junior Short Track Speed Skating Championships Day 1 at Olympiaworld on January 28, 2017 in Innsbruck, Austria. (Photo by Christof Koepsel - ISU/ISU via Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - SEPTEMBER 30: Maame Biney of United States reacts during the ladies 500m quarterfinals heat two during the Audi ISU World Cup Short Track Speed Skating at Bok Hall on September 30, 2017 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Christof Koepsel - ISU/ISU via Getty Images)
DORDRECHT, NETHERLANDS - OCTOBER 07: Maame Biney of United States prepares before the Ladies 1500m semi finals during the Audi ISU World Cup Short Track Speed Skating at Optisport Sportboulevard on October 7, 2017 in Dordrecht, Netherlands. (Photo by Oliver Hardt - ISU/ISU via Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - DECEMBER 16: Maame Biney #1 celebrates victory in the Women's 500 Meter A Final for a spot on the Olympic team during the 2018 U.S. Speedskating Short Track Olympic Team Trials at the Utah Olympic Oval on December 16, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - DECEMBER 16: Maame Biney #1 celebrates victory in the Women's 500 Meter A Final for a spot on the Olympic team during the 2018 U.S. Speedskating Short Track Olympic Team Trials at the Utah Olympic Oval on December 16, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - DECEMBER 16: Maame Biney #1 falls as she celebrates victory in the Women's 500 Meter A Final for a spot on the Olympic team during the 2018 U.S. Speedskating Short Track Olympic Team Trials at the Utah Olympic Oval on December 16, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Dec 16, 2017; Kerns, UT, USA; Maame Biney (1) reacts to winning the A Final of the 500-meter race qualifying her for a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team at Utah Olympic Oval. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Dec 17, 2017; Kerns, UT, USA; Nominees to the U.S. Olympic Team, John-Henry Krueger (102), Jessica Kooreman (3), J.R. Celski (101), Maame Biney (1), Thomas Insuk Hong (104), Lana Gehring (2), Ryan Pivirotto (103) and Aaron Tran (105) pose after competing in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials Short Track at Utah Olympic Oval. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports
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So just how fast is Biney? Fast enough to beat former Olympians in a qualifying round. And as of the qualifying races, her personal best for 500 meters — or just over 0.3 miles — is 43.161 seconds.

Biney and the rest of the team will compete in South Korea this winter. 

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