Erin Jackson Is The First Black Woman to Win Gold in Speed Skating

Jackson, No. 1-ranked speed skater in the world, topped Japan's Takagi and ROC's Golikova to conquer women's 500m and make Olympic history

Team USA's Erin Jackson made history, becoming the first Black woman to win a speed skating medal by taking home gold in the women's 500m final in Beijing on Sunday.

Jackson, the No. 1-ranked speed skater in the world, finished with a time of 37.04 seconds. Japan's Miho Takagi won silver, with ROC skater Angelina Golikova taking bronze.

Jackson's gold medal is America's first medal in speed skating at the 2022 Winter Olympics and the first individual medal won by an American speed skater since Vancouver 2010.

The last American female speed skater to win gold in the 500m was Bonnie Blair, who secured three consecutive Olympic medals for Team USA in 1988, 1992, and 1994.

Jackson, 29, joins fellow American Shani Davis as the only Black athlete to win an Olympic medal in speed skating.

The Florida native slipped at the U.S. trials and was in jeopardy of losing her spot on Team USA.

Teammate and friend Brittany Bowe secured first at the trials, and gave up her spot on the team to ensure Jackson would get a chance to skate in Beijing.

Soon after, another spot opened for the women’s team and Bowe was added to the roster. Talk about good karma.

Bowe finished with a time of 38.04 in the 500m Sunday, which was good for 16th place.

The next medal event in speed skating will be the men’s and women’s team pursuit finals, which will take place on Tuesday at 1:30 a.m. EST. Watch it here:

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