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

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

Of the 2,952 athletes competing at this year's Winter Olympics, only 43 (1.45-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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

14. Rounding out Team Jamaica is Carrie Russell, who previously won a gold medal in the 4x100 meters relay event at the 2013 World Championships in Athletics.

15. Alpine Skier Sabrina Wanjiku Simader will be the first woman and second person ever to represent Kenya in the Winter Olympics.

16. Former track and field champ and bobsledder Anthony Watson will be the first Jamaican to ever compete in the skeleton event at the Winter Olympics.

17. 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.

18. Christopher Kinney will also be competing with the US men's bobsled team.

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

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

21. 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.

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

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

24. 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.

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

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

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

28. Bryan Barnett will also be bobsledding for Canada.

29. 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.

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

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

32. 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.

33. 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.

34. 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.

35. 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.

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

37. 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.

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

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

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

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

42. Edson Ricardo Martins will be bobsledding for Brazil.

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

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

More Pyeongchang Winter Olympics content here!


A previous version of this story did not include athletes Anthony Watson of Team USA or Christopher Kinney of Team Jamaica. As a Jamaican-American, I'm so ashamed y'all! Also, Sabrina Wanjiku Simader will be the second (not the first) athlete to represent Kenya at the Winter Olympics, but she will be the first woman.