Speed skater with Virginia ties making history in PyeongChang

Maame Biney
Maame Biney reacts during a medal ceremony after winning women's 500-meter A final race during the U.S. Olympic short track speedskating trials Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017, in Kearns, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

<<Watch Lex Gray’s report on Maame Biney>>

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (WAVY) — A speed skater with ties to Virginia is making history this Olympics.

Maame Biney is the first black woman to qualify for Team USA in speed skating. Biney, of Reston, Virginia, is also memorable for her personality, because she does not stop laughing and smiling.

Photo of Maame Biney 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.

That’s probably because she has a lot to be happy about.

Biney was just 17 years old in December when she blew away the competition at trials and won the 500 meter short track.

And get this — she only found out because she saw a video of herself when she was scrolling through Instagram.

“I saw like the video and it was like first black female speed skater to make the Olympic team and I was like oh I actually am that, cool,” Biney said. “I’m representing everyone who thinks they can’t do it, but they should do it.”

Biney, born in Ghana, moved to the U.S. at just 6 years old. Olympic-watchers say Biney could be the future of U.S. speed skating.

She starts competing early Saturday morning, so be sure to watch and cheer her on!

Look for more of Lex’s coverage throughout the Winter Olympics on WAVY.com, on air and through social media (Twitter and Facebook).