Maame Biney reacts after competing during the women's 1,000-meter quarterfinals at the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 on Feb. 11, 2022 in Beijing.
When Maame Biney’s blades clashed with those of another skater at the start of the women’s 500-meter quarterfinal at the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 in February, her hopes to advance through to the final were dashed.
Then and there, she vowed to “rise up again, like a phoenix.”
Eight weeks later, the two-time Olympian from Reston, Virginia, will get her chance this weekend. The 2022 World Short Track Speed Skating Championships begin in Montreal on Friday with the qualifying rounds for the 500-, 1,000- and 1,500-meter individual events.
The final rounds in the 1,500 and 500 follow on Saturday, as do the relay semifinals. The wraps up concludes Sunday with the conclusion of the 1,000-meter event, as well as the 3,000-meter and relay finals.
Coming off several exciting races and close calls in Beijing, but ultimately no medals, the U.S. short track skaters will be looking for their first world championships podium finish since 2014.
Biney, who placed ninth in the 1,000-meters in Beijing, will be joined in Montreal by fellow 2022 Olympian Eunice Lee, the alternate member of Team USA’s 3,000-meter Olympic relay team that finished eighth.
On the men’s side, two teenagers — Marcus Howard of Federal Way, Washington, and Seung-Min Kwon of Rockville, Maryland — make their senior world championships debuts.
Here are a few things to watch for:
Biney’s Star Power
Biney burst onto the international scene in 2018 when she became the first Black woman to make a U.S. Olympic speedskating team. At age 22, she is now the veteran of the group: this will be her third world championships.
A former junior world champion in her signature 500-meter event, the Ghana-born, Reston-raised skater is often at her best in the sprint, though her best individual finishes as a global championship both came in the 1,000 — taking ninth in the event in Beijing, and 10th at the 2018 world championships.