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Here Are All The Black Athletes Competing In This Year’s Winter Olympics

Written by on February 11, 2018

Like Issa said, we’re rooting for everybody black.

Of the 2,952 athletes competing at this year’s Winter Olympics, only 41 (1.39-percent) of those athletes are black. Some have already made history, while all are challenging perceptions of what a winter athlete looks like. Here are the remarkable individuals:

1. Eighteen-year-old Maame Afua Biney is the first African-American woman to qualify for a US Olympic speed skating team.

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Hometown: Reston, Virgina

Age: 18

2. Jordan Greenway will be the first African-American to play hockey for Team USA at the Winter Games.

Instagram: @jgreenway12

Hometown: Canton, New York

Age: 20

3. European Bronze Medalist Vanessa James and her partner Morgan Cipres will be figure skating for France. James made history back in 2010 when she and Yannick Bonheur became the first black pair to ever compete at the Olympics.

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Hometown: Manassas, Virginia

Age: 30

4. Ngozi Onwumere and her teammates Akuoma and Seun are the first ever athletes to represent Nigeria at the Winter Olympics. They’re also the first African representatives to qualify for and compete in the bobsled competition.

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Hometown: Mesquite, Texas

Age: 26

5. Three-time national track and field champion Akuoma Omeoga will be bobsledding for Nigeria after having represented the West African country in the 2012 Summer Olympics.

instagram.com / Via @akuomaomeoga

Hometown: Chicago, Illinois

Age: 25

6. Nigerian bobsledder Suen Adigun also competed for Nigeria in the 2012 Summer Olympics as a hurdler.

instagram.com / Via @seun_msamazing

Hometown: Evanston, Illinois

Age: 31

7. Four-time medalist Shani Davis will be speedskating for Team USA. In 2006, he became the first black athlete to win a gold medal in an individual sport — the 1000 meter event — at the Winter Games and, in 2010, the first man to successfully defend the 1000 meter gold medal.

Instagram: @isuspeedskating

Hometown: Chicago, Illinois

Age: 35

8. Alpine skier Shannon-Obgnai Abeda will be the first person to compete for Eritrea in the Winter Olympics.

Hometown: Alberta, CanadaAge: 21

instagram.com / Via @erialpine96 / @courtneyhoffos_

Hometown: Alberta, Canada

Age: 21

9. Mica Moore will be bobsledding for Great Britain, thanks to their GoFundMe supporters. She and her teammate crowdfunded more than £40,000 to cover their expenses after the country’s Bobsleigh and Skeleton Association stopped funding the women’s bobsled team — but not the men’s — last fall.

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Hometown: Newport, Wales

Age: 25

10. Team USA athlete Erin Jackson will be the first African-American woman to compete in Olympic long-track skating. She qualified for this year’s Winter Games with only four months of experience speedskating on ice.

instagram.com / Via @rebelgirlsbook

Hometown: Ocala, Florida

Age: 25

11. Akwasi Frimpong will be the first Ghanaian athlete to compete in skeleton and the second Winter Olympian to ever represent Ghana.

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Hometown: Ghana

Age: 31

12. Audra Segree, and her teammates Jazmine and Carrie, are making history as the first Jamaican women’s team to compete at the Winter Olympics.

Hometown: JamaicaAge: 28

Instagram: @mzunique__charm / Via @mzunique__charm

Hometown: Jamaica

Age: 28

13. Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian competed on the US Olympic Bobsled team in the 2014 Winter Olympics, but will be bobsledding for Team Jamaica this year.

Instagram: @jazminefenlator

Hometown: Wayne, New Jersey

Age: 32

14. Rounding out Team Jamaica is Carrie Russell, who previously won a gold medal in the 4×100 meters relay event at the 2013 World Championships in Athletics.

Hometown: St. Thomas, JamaicaAge: 27

instagram.com / Via @_carrie_russell

Hometown: St. Thomas, Jamaica

Age: 27

15. Alpine Skier Sabrina Wanjiku Simader will be the first athlete to represent Kenya in the Winter Olympics.

Instagram: @sabrinasimader98

Hometown: Austria

Age: 19

16. Team USA bobsledder Hakeem Abdul-Saboor was personally recruited after an Olympic stretch coach saw a video of Hakeem jumping and touching his head to a 10-foot ceiling.

Hometown: Powhatan, Virginia.Age: 30

instagram.com / Via @has_fitness

Hometown: Powhatan, Virginia.

Age: 30

17. Aja Evans will be returning to bobsled for Team USA after having won an Olympic bronze medal at the 2014 Sochi Games.

instagram.com / Via @ajalevans

Hometown: Chicago, Illinois

Age: 29

18. Fellow bobsledder Elana Meyers Taylor is coming back to the Winter Games with two Olympic medals, both for Team USA.

Instagram: @elanameyerstaylor

Hometown: Douglasville, Georgia.

Fun Fact: Elana is a two-time Olympic Medalist, having won the silver medal in 2014 and a bronze medal in 2010, both for Team USA.

19. Also competing for Team USA is Lauren Gibbs who left her corporate job in 2013 to successfully try out for the U.S. bobsled team. She later won a bronze medal at the 2016 bobsled world championship.

instagram.com / Via @lagibbs84

Hometown: Denver, Colorado

Age: 33

20. Mathilde Petitjean will be cross-country skiing for Togo. She also represented the West African country during its Winter Olympics debut in 2014.

Instagram: @mathilde

Age: 23

Hometown: Haute-Savoie, France

21. Ekemini Bassey will be bobsledding for Austria. The decorated sprinter took up the winter sport in 2016.

Instagram: @e

Hometown: Vienna, Austria

Age: 30

22. Four-time NCAA All American athlete Simidele Adeagbo retired from track and field in 2008. But in 2017, she successfully tried out for the Nigerian Skeleton Federation after hearing about the country’s history-making bobsledders. She’ll be the first black woman and African-representative to compete in the event.

Instagram: @simisleighs

Hometown: Born in Canada, raised in Nigeria, Tennessee, and Kentucky

Age: 36

23. Phylicia George is a two-time Summer Olympian making her debut at the Winter Games on Canada’s bobsled team.

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Hometown: Markham, Ontario

Age: 30

24. Two-time Olympic medalist Lascelles Brown will be bobsledding for Canada.

Instagram: @kingjaphy6

Hometown: Calgary, Alberta

Age: 43

25. Bobsledder Neville Wright will be competing in his third Winter Olympics for Canada.

Instagram: @nwright021

Hometown: Alberta, Canada

Age: 37

26. Bryan Barnett will also be bobsledding for Canada.

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Hometown: Edmonton, Alberta

Age: 31

27. Six years after competing with the Canadian relay team at the summer Olympics, Oluseyi Smith will represent his home country once again in the bobsled event.

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Hometown: Ottawa, Ontario

Age: 30

28. Alpine Skier Mialitiana Clerc will be the first woman to compete for Madagascar at the Winter Olympics.

Hometown: FranceAge: 16

Millo Moravski / Getty Images

Hometown: France

Age: 16

29. Mariama Jamankam, a former discus and hammer thrower, will be bobsledding for Team Germany.

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Hometown: Berlin

Age: 27

30. Joshua Bluhm will be representing Germany in the bobsledding event at this year’s games. A former bobsledder encouraged him to take up the sport in 2012, claiming he had the perfect build for it.

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Hometown: Germany

Age: 23

31. Sarah Nurse will be competing in hockey for Team Canada. She comes from a family of accomplished athletes, including her uncle former NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb and University of Connecticut basketball point guard Kia Nurse.

Hometown: Ontario, CanadaAge: 23

instagram.com / Via Instagram

Hometown: Ontario, Canada

Age: 23

32. Team Great Britain bobsledder Toby Olubi left his teaching job to focus on making the 2018 Winter Games. To help fund his journey to Pyeongchang, Toby competed in game shows like Deal or No Deal and was even shot out of a cannon.

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Hometown: London, Great Britain

Age: 30

33. Before Lamin Deen took up bobsledding, the Grenadier Guardsman represented the British Army in athletics, boxing, and basketball. He’ll be bobsledding for Team Great Britain this year at his second Winter Olympics.

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Hometown: Manchester, Great Britain

Age: 36

34. Andrew Matthews will also be returning to his second Winter Olympics to bobsled for Great Britain.

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Hometown: Slough, Great Britain

Age: 33

35. Joel Fearon has already made history as Britain’s third fastest sprinter of all time. He hopes to make the same impact bobsledding for his country in Pyeongchang.

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Age: 29

36. Four-time French national champion Maé Méité Maé will also be figure skating for France at her second Winter Olympics.

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Hometown: Paris, France

Age: 23

37. Having competed in his first Winter Olympics last year, Vincent Castell will be bobsledding again for France.

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Hometown: La Plagne, France

Age: 26

38. Dorian Hauterville will also be back to bobsled for France.

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Hometown: La Plagne, France

Age: 27

39. Team France’s bobsled coach Yannis Pujar recently announced he’ll be competing in Pyeongchang this year as a replacement.

Instagram: @sinnay94

Hometown: La Plagne, France

Age: 25

40. Edson Ricardo Martins will be bobsledding for Brazil.

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Hometown: São Paulo, Brazil

Age: 28

41. And Rafael Souza Da Silva will also be bobsledding for Brazil.

Hometown: Rio de Janeiro, BrazilAge: 21

Facebook: Rafaoffline

Hometown: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Age: 21

Good luck out there in Pyeongchang. We’re rooting for y’all!!!

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