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9 Black Athletes to Watch Out For During the 2018 Winter Olympics

The 2018 Winter Olympics are just weeks away. The games will be taking place in PyeongChang from February 9-25th, which happens to fall right in the middle of when WE are celebrating Black History Month. This year, Team USA is the largest of any nation to compete in the Winter Olympics t0-date, but we don’t think that’ll be the only thing making history during the games. Here are 9 black athletes who WE’ll be watching for this year!

JORDAN GREENWAY


Jordan Greenway is the first African-American man to make the USA’s Olympic hockey team. The 20-year-old New York native was selected in the 2015 NHL draft by the Minnesota Wild, but chose to continue his college education at Boston University instead. He will be one of only four college students playing for the United States. In an interview with The Undefeated, Jordan said that he’d like to use his platform to be an inspiration for black youth. He said, “I’ve been able to accomplish a lot of good things, and just allowing a lot of African-American kids who are younger than me who see kind of what I’m doing, I hope that can be an inspiration for them. ‘Go out and do something different against the typical stereotypes that most African-Americans play basketball, or whatever the case is.’” WE’re sure kids are hearing his message loud and clear!

MAAME BINEY

Maame Biney is a 17-year-old speed skater who hails from Ghana. Maame became the first black woman to be selected as a speed skater for the U.S. Olympic Team after winning two 500-meter finals. Her opponents included three Olympians, making her win all the more impressive. WE are rooting for her!

THE NIGERIA WOMEN’S BOBSLED TEAM

Three women from Nigeria have already made Olympic history, and the games haven’t even begun yet! Seun Adigun, Ngozi Onwumere and Akuoma Omeoga will compete in the women’s bobsled, making them the first athletes from Africa to qualify for the Olympics in the sport. The three women are also the first Nigerians to ever compete in the winter Olympics. According to reports, the women funded their Olympic bid thanks to a GoFundMe campaign started by Seun, and have recently landed themselves a sponsorship deal with Visa. WE can’t wait to see how they do!

AJA EVANS

Aja Evans took home a bronze medal for bobsledding at the 2014 Olympics, and this year she has her sights set on gold! The 29-year-old Olympian hails from Chicago; a city whose reputation she hopes to change while also inspiring more people from the black community to get involved with bobsledding. Good luck, Aja!

AWKASI FRIMPONG

Awkasi Frimpong is making Olympic history this year as Ghana’s first Olympic skeleton athlete. He was born in Ghana and moved to the Netherlands when he was eight years old. He started out on a bobsleigh and made the switch to skeleton; a sport which gets its name from the thin, bony appearance of the sled. Awkasi just missed the cut for the Dutch team for Socchi in 2014, but WE are thrilled to see him representing his home country in PyeongChang!

ELANA MEYERS TAYLOR

Olympic veteran and bobsled driver Elana Meyers Taylor is a favorite for the 2018 Winter Olympics. The former college softball player has worked hard and became one of Team USA’s top bobsled drivers. She won a bronze medal in 2010, silver in 2014, and is going for the gold in 2018. WE hope the third time really is the charm!

HAKEEM ABDUL-SABOOR

Although Hakeem Abdul-Saboor is no stranger to athletic competitions, he’s a rookie when it comes to bobsledding. He was introduced to bobsledding this past March, but is already named to Team USA, which means he’s not kidding when he describes himself as goal-oriented! When it comes to the Olympics, Hakeem says he’s “…looking to learn as much about the sport as possible, race in as many races I can and push my pilots to the fastest start times.” WE’re confident that he can do it!

SABRINA WANJIKU

Sabrina Wanjiku will be Kenya’s sole representative at the 2018 Winter Olympics. Aside from being the only Kenyan in the 2018 Olympics, the 18-year-old Alpine skiier is the first woman to represent Kenya, and only the second athlete to represent the country. (Philip Boit, one of her coaches, was the first back in 1998, 2002 and 2006). WE wish her the best of luck!

SHANNON-OGBANI ABEDA

Alpine skiier Shannon-Obbani Abeda will be competing in PyeongChang this year, but not for his home country, Canada. Abeda’s parents fled their native Eritrea back in the 1980s, but he still feels a strong connection to the East African country and chose to represent it in PyeongChang. This will be the first time Eritrea has ever been represented in the Winter Olympics. Way to go, Shannon-Ogbani!

WE will be celebrating Black History all month long! For more articles, videos and events, click here!