On February 13, Team USA took home gold in the 500m speed skating event, when Erin Jackson finished with a time of 37.04, beating out Japan’s Miho Takagi by 0.08 seconds and 0.17 seconds ahead of the Russian Olympic Committee’s Angelina Golikova who finished third. She is the first US woman to win a speed skating gold since 1994 when Bonnie Blair ended with a time of 38.99 seconds. Erin Jackson is also the first Black woman to win an individual medal in speed skating at the Olympics, according to Team USA.
Erin Jackson was born in Ocala, Florida and graduated from the University of Florida with honors from the Materials Science & Engineering program. She was 8-years-old when she first began as a figure skater. At 10-years-old, she began inline skating and in 2017 at the age of 25, she started speed skating.
Brittany Bowe, a fellow USA teammate and friend of Jackson, qualified for the 1,000m and 1,500m. However, Bowe gave up her spot on the team so Jackson could compete in the 500m. Jackson gave credit and showed appreciation towards her teammate, whom she hugged after the race, and posted on Facebook, “You are a mentor. A friend. A teammate. A sister. Thank you for playing a huge part in my journey to gold, @brittanybowe 🥇.”
This article was written by Solomon Hayes, editorial assistant for The Burton Wire.
Follow Solomon on Instagram @soulman957.