Beijing, 16 February 2022 (TDI): Erin Jackson became the first black woman to win an Olympic speed skating gold medal for the USA. The 29 -year-old native of Ocala, Florida won the gold medal for the US delegation on Sunday.
Jackson won her first Olympic medal in the speed skating 500 meters race with 37.04 seconds at this Beijing Olympics. Before the 2022 winter Olympic games, she ranked 24th in the 500m in the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics.
Moreover, two other Ocala natives are participating in the Olympics this year with Erin. For instance, Brittany Bowe, and Joey Mantia. All three were inline skaters that switched to the ice. Renee Hildebrand was coaching them.
Cried so much that I put on my medal backward… then cried some more 😭🥇🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/deEgHSFrHU
— Erin Jackson (@ErinJackson480) February 14, 2022
Jackson was at risk of stalling at last month’s US Olympic speed skating trials. She slipped in her race, failing to qualify for the Olympic team. Her teammate Brittany Bowe qualified first for the 500 meters, but she gave up in her favor. Bowe finally got a place in the 500m again and ranked 16th.
Jackson thanked Brittany Bowe as she gave her qualifying spot and expressed emotional words on how an “amazing friend, companion, and mentor” is Bowe. She further said that “this is an act I will never forget.
Erin Jackson background
The gold medal champion Erin spent her life on rollerblades but then switched to ice skating. She made her Olympic debut four years ago in the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympic and switched to ice skating roughly a year earlier.
Before this Olympics, she became the first Black woman to qualify for the US Olympic speed skating team in 2018. On that victory, she had tears in her eyes and expressed her joy that but this one meant much more than national pride.
This is saying that Jackson is following in the footsteps of two-time gold medalist Shani Davis. He became the first African American to win a gold medal in men individual 1,000m speed skating event at the Davis Tour in the United States.