Jackson was on the verge of missing the Olympics in the 500m after slipping during qualifying trials, but her teammate and friend Brittany Bowe sacrificed her own spot to ensure the world No. 1 could compete — and it paid off.
Where Was Erin Jackson Born?
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How Did Erin Jackson Get Into Speed Skating?
According to Team USA, the 29-year-old Jackson is the first American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in speed skating since Bonnie Blair did it in 1994, as well as the first Black woman to win an individual medal in speed skating.
Erin Jackson, the world’s top speedskater, will compete in the Beijing Olympics because a friend and teammate gave up her position after a misstep during qualifying trials cost her a seat on the team.
Jackson fell short of qualifying for Beijing 2022 during Friday’s trials, finishing third, just one spot short of qualifying.
However, the 29-year-old had some good news when the event’s winner, Brittany Bowe, agreed to give up her spot, allowing Jackson to make the squad. Bowe, 33, will race in Beijing in the 1,000m and 1,500m events.
She finished 0.08 seconds ahead of Miho Takagi of Japan in second and 0.17 seconds ahead of Angelina Golikova of the Russian Olympic Committee in third.
Meet the Olympian who broke the USA’s gold medal drought in speed skating. After nearly missing out on the 2022 Olympics, Erin Jackson made history during the speed skating event in Beijing. With her gold in the 500 meters on Sunday, Jackson became the first Black woman to earn a speed skating medal.
She spoke out: “I cried immediately, it was just a big release of emotion. A lot of shocks, a lot of relief, and a lot of happiness. I haven’t fully processed everything quite yet, but it just feels amazing. I had a little misstep on the backstretch, but I just tried to, I wouldn’t say recover, because it wasn’t anything big, but just tried to continue skating.”
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