The Reinvention of Maame

Sept. 06, 2019, 3:08 p.m. (ET)

Maame Biney is in the process of reinvention. The 19-year-old Olympian and two-time Junior World Champion is growing into the woman she wants to be: a fearless, confident and radiant role model.

She began by redefining her style, showing her 30,000+ Instagram followers her new look she describes as, “Sexy, but not slutty. I work hard for this body and I want to show it off.”

Maame’s reached the point where she doesn’t care what people say about her, or what they think. She wears what makes her feel confident and loves every minute of it. She’s even dabbled in make-up application, with the help of teammate April Shin. After a trip to Sephora, Maame is a mascara addict.

But she didn’t always feel confident.  After missing summer training last year, she joined up with the team at the Utah Olympic Oval in August 2018 feeling out of shape and definitely not ready for world-class competition. Her first world cup event in Calgary in November ended with her disqualification. She’d gone into the race nervous, overthinking each step and unsure of her abilities to compete. Basically, she freaked out.

“I knew I wasn’t prepared. I hadn’t been training long enough and I hadn’t gotten back to the level I wanted to be,” she says.

As she returned to training, the remainder of the 2018-19 season went better than she expected. In the second world cup in Salt Lake City, she skated into the 500m semifinals, and her season only improved.

She went on to earn a back-to-back 500m Junior World Championship title, setting a new national record for good measure. Maame also won her first world cup medal last season, with a bronze in the 500m, and she and her teammates took home a bronze in the mixed relay to finish the season.

This year, she’s committed to full-time training as she finishes her first full summer training in two years.

“This summer’s been very intense. Honestly, it’s been a lot. But it’s such a blessing being back and I’m working on being mentally prepared,” Maame says. “I’m focusing on form and what I need to fix. If I don’t go that extra step, I don’t get better. I’m watching videos and I’m talking to [Coach Wilma Boomstra] and I’m doing what she says.”

Maame’s incorporated meditation, breathing exercises and other mindset practices into her schedule to keep her mental game on point. She’s intent on breaking the 500m world record this year and plans on getting more world competition medals as she moves closer to Beijing 2022.

In the meantime, she’s adjusting to brutal workouts and long days of training. “It’s gonna be a ride. We skated hundreds of laps this week. I couldn’t event walk up the stairs. My legs are dead,” she says. “Wil knows it’s hard but the end goal she wants us to reach will be so much better than right now.”

As always, she looks to long-time role model Serena Williams as Maame evolves into the woman she hopes to be. Her fan-girl dream of meeting Williams is always in the back of her mind as she strives to display her own fierce personality.

 “Serena’s just a beast. Such a presence. She just wants to be the best – and she is. I really hope to meet her one day and we become good friends and she mentors me. That would be awesome,” she says. “I love where I’m going because I know I’ll be so much more confident in everything I do.”