Sport The Olympian: Jordan Greenway breaks USA Hockey color barrier at 2018 Games

00:30  07 february  2018
00:30  07 february  2018 Source:   Sporting News

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That will come in February when Greenway joins USA Hockey on its 2018 Olympic men’s hockey team in Pyeongchang, South Korea. In doing so, he’ll become the first African-American man or woman to ever skate with USA Hockey at the Olympics , breaking a color barrier that is 98 years old.

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For nearly 100 years — predating when Willie O'Ree broke the NHL's color barrier in 1958 — the United States has sent teams to the Winter Olympics, but never did those rosters include an African-American player.

That is until now.

Jordan Greenway, a 20-year-old junior at Boston University, will become the first African-American to compete for USA Hockey at an Olympic tournament since America started competing in the Games at 1920. Sporting News spent several days in November with Greenway, who shared his story about beating the odds in a predominantly white sport.

theolympian_portrait.jpg © Provided by Sporting News theolympian_portrait.jpg

“I’ve been able to accomplish a lot of good things and just allowing a lot of African-American kids who are younger than me who see kind of what I’m doing, I hope that can be an inspiration for them,” Greenway said. “Go out and do something different against the typical stereotypes that most African-Americans play basketball, or whatever the case is.”

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A 2015 second-round pick by the Minnesota Wild, Greenway grew up in Canton, N.Y., before playing at Shattuck St. Mary's, the premier preparatory school hockey program in the United States. He went on to play for the United States National Development Program before committing to Boston University.

He's a familiar face in the American program, playing a starring role on the United States squad that won gold at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Greenway is one of three NCAA players who were selected to the United States' 2018 Olympic team, along with Harvard's Ryan Donato and Denver's Troy Terry. This is the first time since 1994 that amateur players have been featured on the United States roster, with the NHL forbidding its own from attending.

“I didn’t really expect myself to be able to accomplish a goal of playing in the Olympics this early," Greenway said. “But the opportunity has presented itself, and I’m going to take full advantage of it.”

Jordan Greenway © (SN illustration) Jordan Greenway

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