The first African American 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
6. Elena Meyer 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.
7. 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!
8. 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.
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.