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Monday, February 12, 2018

Meet the First Ever African-American Hockey Player to Play in the Winter Olympics

Jordan Greenway, first African American to join U.S. hockey team in the Winter Olympics

Jordan Greenway, first African American to join U.S. hockey team in the Winter Olympics

Nationwide — Jordan Greenway, a 20-year-old ice hockey player, joins the Team USA at the Winter Olympics 2018 in Pyeongchang, South Korea. He is making history as the first-ever African American to compete for the USA Men’s Olympic hockey team since the games began in 1920.

Greenway, a 6-foot-5, 230-pound player, has been chosen to play by his coach late last year and he considers it the “greatest Christmas present” he ever got.

“I dreamed of [it] as a kid, and I didn’t think it was going to happen before I graduated college, but I’m fortunate that it did, and I just couldn’t be more excited!” Greenway told CNN.

His love for ice hockey roots from when he first started learning to skate at the age of three. In his hometown at Canton, New York, there are ice rinks all over the town and everyone plays hockey.

Greenway and his younger brother JD both play hockey. Even though they’re both competitive in nature, they encourage each other to be great in the game.

“JD was probably the better athlete in the family, but yeah, no matter whether we were playing hockey or football or rock, paper, scissors, whatever the case was, we always wanted to win, so I think that’s really allowed us to continue to work hard and have the success that we’ve had up to this point,” Greenway said.

Most players in the National Hockey League are white but it did not stop Greenway in achieving his dreams.

“There wasn’t a lot of African-Americans playing and I think, honestly, outside of my brother and I, I can’t think of a ton… so I just kind of grew up around it and it was kinda the norm,” Greenway said.

Greenway has been drafted by the Minnesota Wild in 2015 but he chose to stay at Boston University where he plays forward. Greenway is also one of the first amateur players to play for the US Men’s Olympic hockey team in the Winter Olympics since no players from the NHL were sent to compete this year.

Greenway’s goal isn’t only to compete in the Olympics but also, to become a role model to other African Americans.

“I’m the first African American to play hockey for the United States at the Olympics but hopefully I’m the first of many,” Greenway said. “Hopefully these kids go out, try something different, play hockey, and hopefully I see a lot more playing in the near future.”

Follow him on Twitter at @jgreenway12

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