Let’s face it: as far as Olympic competition goes, the Winter Games have always been a little sister to the athletic fanfare and exotic locals that are highlighted during the summer.
Even with that said, if you ignore this year’s Winter Olympics, you’ll miss your chance to see some of the best Black athletes in the world compete at the highest level ever in sports that we traditionally have never dominated. From history makers like the Nigerian Bobsled Team to newcomers like Alpine skier Shannon Ogbani Abeda to Olympic legends like Shani Davis, the Pyeonchang games are a must-watch.
Here’s our guide to the Olympians you need to know and watch.
1JORDAN GREENWAY, 20
Where He’s From: Canton, NY
Sport: Ice Hockey, Forward
How He Became an Olympian: Greenway was a member of the Boston University hockey team, World Junior Hockey championshp team (2017, USA), and has now become the first and only African-American member of USA Olympic team.
Why He’s One To Watch: This young prince of the ice stands at 6-foot-5 and an athletic 230-pounds. He will celebrate his 21st birthday during the winter competition (drinks on us!) in Pyeongchang and he may actually have an easier path to birthday gold than prior U.S. Olympic squads. Unlike in past years, the National Hockey League did not allow its members to participate in the 2018 games. Greenway, fortunately, won’t have to skate by names like Sidney Crosby (Canada), Alex Ovechkin or Evgeni Malkin (Russia), to take the podium.