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Maame Biney

United States

SportShort Track
FederationIDSTUSA22801200001
NOCUnited States
Born28 Jan 2000 in Accra 
GenderWomen
ResidenceSalt Lake City, UT, USA
OccupationAthlete, Student
LanguagesEnglish
Personal Bests
EventRecordDateLocation 
Personal Bests
  Event RecordDateLocation 
    500m 42.807 09 Feb 2020 Dresden  
    1000m 1:27.859 09 Feb 2022 Beijing  
    1500m 2:23.757 18 Aug 2017 Salt Lake City, UT  
    3000m 5:47.404 12 Jan 2020 Montreal  
Main Achievements
 
Main Achievements
World Junior Championships
Event  
World Junior Championships
    500m 1      
    Overall     1  
Social Media
Social Media
www.facebook.com/bineymaame  
twitter.com/bineymaame  
Sport Specific Information
Sport Specific Information
Reason for choosing this sportShe tried figure skating for six months before switching to short track. "My figure skating instructor told me that I was going too fast and that I should try short track."  
When and where did you begin this sport?She took up short track in about 2005 or 2006 in Reston, VA, United States of America.  
Training RegimeShe spends up to 17 hours a week training on the ice.  
General Interest
General Interest
NicknamesAfua (Facebook profile, 02 Jul 2017)  
AmbitionsTo win a medal at the 2026 Olympic Winter Games in Milan-Cortina. (si.com, 03 Aug 2022)  
HobbiesRock climbing, spending time with friends. (sportstravelmagazine.com, 27 Aug 2021)  
Superstitions / Rituals / Beliefs"I think of a very detailed room and it has all the things that make me really feel comfortable. From my favorite food and drink, an animal that I'd want with me to what the colour of the carpet is. And in front of me there's a TV and it's playing a couple of my favorite races. Using that trick really helps me get into that right mind and the right feelings." (sophialiamag.com, 19 Nov 2020)  
Most influential person in careerHer father. (Athlete, 05 Dec 2019)  
Hero / IdolUS speed skater Shani Davis, US tennis player Serena Williams. (insidexpress.com, 30 Oct 2021; Athlete, 05 Dec 2019)  
InjuriesShe struggled with injuries, including one on her knee, during the 2021/22 season. (fansided.com, 11 Oct 2022; redbull.com, 21 Dec 2021)

During the 2020/21 season she required stitches to her lip and her chin after she suffered a cut caused by another competitor's blade. (redbull.com, 21 Dec 2021)

She sprained her left ankle in November 2016. She had broken the same ankle in 2015 and 2016. (Athlete, 05 Dec 2019, 02 Feb 2017)
 
Memorable sporting achievementQualifying for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games. (fansided.com, 11 Oct 2022)  
Sporting philosophy / motto"If one door closes another will open. If someone tells you you're too this or too that for something you want to do, go through with it and keep going. Ignore the haters. But if you feel like they're right, and you can't excel, look for something that will motivate you to be the best you can be." (sportifyit.com, 18 Mar 2021)  
Other informationFROM GHANA TO THE UNITED STATES
She was born in Accra, Ghana, and moved to the United States of America to be with her father at age five. Her father suggested she try skating after seeing a sign for a 'Learn To Skate' programme while they were driving in Reston, Virginia. "She didn't even know what skating was. She didn't even know what that word was and I explained it to her. The only thing cold in Ghana is cold beer," her father Kweku said. (time.com, 02 Feb 2018; denverpost.com, 20 Aug 2017; Athlete, 02 Feb 2017)

SECOND SELF
She has an alter ego that she calls 'Anna Digger', which she created at age eight. "I did it because I was very suspicious of everyone, and I didn't want people to know my real name. The thing about Anna is she is very fierce and strong, and she doesn't care about anything. She doesn't care who she's on the ice with. All she wants to do is be the fastest and the smartest, and cross that line first. We are completely different. I'm very shy and awkward. In real life, I like to stay in the background, not be front and centre. But you need that in racing. So having Anna by my side, she can do that being-fierce stuff for me. Getting in character helps me go faster." (olympics.com, 01 Mar 2021; isu.org, 14 Feb 2019; redbull.com, 21 Dec 2021)

STRUGGLES WITH DEPRESSION
She experienced mental health issues after competing at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, partly due to the increased exposure she received. "Before the Olympics, I had like 500 followers on Instagram and I was living my best life. I was loving it. Then after the Olympic trials suddenly, I had like 5000 followers, and it just kept going. I was so stressed, and I remember just breaking down. I was so young; I was 18 and I don't really like attention. All these people want me to do well. I got in my head, and I wasn't skating for myself. I was struggling a lot with depression and anxiety and not doing well in skating. I prayed like I've never prayed in my life in 2019. I remember crying all the time in my room and praying to God and asking, 'Why is my brain like this?' I definitely have the right tools now [speaking in 2022] in order to get through that either by shutting off my social media or reading a book or watching TV. My organisation, US Speed Skating, has been a great help with mental health and helping me try to find a therapist and my therapist has been super great and very helpful." (si.com, 03 Aug 2022; olympics.com, 12 Jan 2022)

FUTURE PLANS
She hopes to become a sports psychologist. "I knew that even from a very young age I wanted to do something to help people, and I never really knew what it was. Specifically, I want to be a sports psychologist. I've been through so much mentally and physically, to use the knowledge I've gained as an elite athlete to help other athletes. To not do that would be a shame. I can help so many athletes, so many people around the world." (forbes.com, 06 Feb 2022)
 
Championships results
Year Competition Event Rank  
Championships results
    2018/2019 World Junior Championships 500m1  
    2017/2018 World Junior Championships Overall3  
    2018/2019 World Junior Championships 3000m Relay5  
    2017/2018 World Junior Championships 3000m Relay6  
    2016/2017 World Junior Championships Overall7  
    2022 Olympic Games 3000m Relay8  
    2022 Olympic Games 2000m Relay8  
    2018/2019 World Junior Championships 1000m9  
    2022 Olympic Games 1000m9  
    2017/2018 World Championships 1000m10  
    2021/2022 World Championships 500m11  
    2015/2016 World Junior Championships 3000m Relay11  
    2018/2019 World Championships 500m12  
    2017/2018 World Championships 500m12  
    2022 Olympic Games 500m13  
    2018 Olympic Games 500m14  
    2021/2022 World Championships 1000m14  
    2017/2018 World Championships Overall15  
    2017/2018 World Championships 1500m19  
    2021/2022 World Championships Overall20  
    2018/2019 World Championships 1000m21  
    2018/2019 World Championships Overall24  
    2018 Olympic Games 1500m31  
    2021/2022 World Championships 1500m34  
    2015/2016 World Junior Championships Overall42  
World Cups
Year Competition Event Rank  
World Cups
    2018/2019 World Cup Turin 2000m Relay3  
    2018/2019 World Cup Turin 500m3  
    2019/2020 World Cup Four Continents Championships 1500m3  
    2019/2020 Shanghai 3000m Relay3  
    2018/2019 Calgary, AB 2000m Relay4  
    2019/2020 Salt Lake City, UT 2000m Relay4  
    2017/2018 Shanghai 500m5  
    2018/2019 Dresden 3000m Relay6  
    2019/2020 Salt Lake City, UT 3000m Relay6  
    2019/2020 Shanghai 500m7  
    2017/2018 World Cup 500m8  
    2018/2019 Salt Lake City, UT 2000m Relay8  
    2019/2020 Dresden 500m8  
    2018/2019 Salt Lake City, UT 3000m Relay8  
    2019/2020 Dresden 3000m Relay8  
    2018/2019 World Cup 500m9  
    2016/2017 Dresden 3000m Relay9  
    2018/2019 Dresden 2000m Relay9  
    2018/2019 Salt Lake City, UT 500m9  
    2018/2019 Calgary, AB 3000m Relay9  
    2019/2020 Dresden 2000m Relay9  
    2018/2019 Dresden 500m10  
    2018/2019 Dresden 1000m12  
    2019/2020 Shanghai 500m12  
    2019/2020 World Cup 500m16  
    2018/2019 Salt Lake City, UT 1000m17  
    2019/2020 Salt Lake City, UT 500m20  
    2021/2022 World Cup 500m21  
    2016/2017 Dresden 1500m21  
    2018/2019 Calgary, AB 500m21  
    2019/2020 Salt Lake City, UT 500m23  
    2019/2020 Dresden 1000m23  
    2016/2017 Dresden 500m26  
    2021/2022 World Cup 1000m32  
    2018/2019 World Cup 1000m39  
    2019/2020 World Cup 1000m48  
    2021/2022 World Cup 1500m55  
    2017/2018 World Cup 1000m59  
    2016/2017 World Cup 1500m63  
    2017/2018 World Cup 1500m67  
    2016/2017 World Cup 500m79  
    2019/2020 World Cup 1500m99