Maame Biney’s biggest fan arrived too late to see her practice for her Olympic debut.
Biney’s father, Kweku, slipped into a seat at the short track training center in time to wave to his 18-year-old daughter, who was preparing to leave the ice after Friday’s session.
The elder Biney will be in the stands on Saturday to watch Maame compete in the 500-meter heats. He’s hoping to bring his homemade sign from the U.S. trials reading: “Kick some hiney Biney.”
“I’m not driving so it might be hard to carry,” said Kweku Biney, who is commuting from Seoul, about two hours away from the Olympics by train.
He only has a ticket to Saturday’s first night of short track and is hoping to find more. He said he had to pass on a ticket to the opening ceremony because prices were too high.
Biney traveled to South Korea from his home in Reston, Virginia. In the 1980s, he emigrated to the U.S. from Ghana, where his daughter was born. She first visited him in the U.S. as a 5-year-old and decided she liked it enough to stay. Eventually, she began skating lessons.
Now, Maame is the first black woman to make a U.S. Olympic short track team.
“I’m never nervous when she skates,” Kweku Biney said. “I don’t want her to put pressure on herself. Just go out there, have fun, just skate well, that’s it. She knows nobody expects anything to come out of this. That’s the best position she’s in.”