U.S. speedskater Maame Biney finished last in her 1,500 meter short-track heat on Saturday, ending her trailblazing run at the Winter Olympics.
The 18-year-old Biney, the first black woman on the U.S. Olympic short-track team, was also the first to make any Team USA Olympic speedskating squad. She qualified for the Games before long-track racer Erin Jackson, who is also black.
“I am super-honored to be able to be part of this, because I know that us African American girls and women haven’t been able to be in this situation before,” Biney told HuffPost before the Games. “I’m really honored to inspire other women, African American or any other race, to get out there and do what you can and succeed.”
On Saturday, Biney briefly took the lead early in the race but faded out of contention. (Leslie Jones of “Saturday Night Live” posted footage of the heat, below.)
She finished in a time of 2 minutes, 31.819 seconds in the field of six ― nearly two seconds behind the third and last qualifier from the heat, Valerie Maltais of Canada.
In her stronger event earlier in the Games, the 500, Biney advanced out of the preliminary heats but could not overcome a slow start in her quarterfinal on Tuesday.