Winner Gives Up Olympic Spot to Teammate Who Slipped

Brittany Bowe gives up her spot to Erin Jackson in speedskating event
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 11, 2022 12:06 AM CST
A Slip Almost Cost Her the Olympics. Then the Winner Stepped In
Erin Jackson, of the United States, skates during the women's 500-meter competition at the ISU World Cup speed skating event in Calgary, Alberta, Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021.   (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press via AP)

Erin Jackson is the top-ranked speed skater in the world in the 500-meter event, so it was a shock when she stumbled during Olympic trials on Sunday and came in third place. She didn't fall all the way, so she was not allowed a re-skate, Yahoo Sports reports. Only the top two finishers got a spot on the Olympic team, so it looked like Jackson would miss her second Olympics after competing in Pyeongchang in 2018—until the winner, Brittany Bowe, stepped in. Bowe gave up her spot so Jackson would be able to compete for Team USA in Beijing next month, CBS Sports reports.

Jackson and Bowe are both from Ocala, Fla., and they've known each other since Jackson was 10. "She's an amazing friend, teammate, and mentor and this is an act I'll never forget," Jackson tweeted. As for Bowe, she said, "I mean, in my heart there was never a question that I would do whatever it took, if it came down to me, to get Erin to skate the Olympics. No one is more deserving than her." Bowe will still be competing in Beijing, her third and likely final Olympic Games, as she also won the 1,000-meter and 1,500-meter events at the trials. And there's a chance Bowe could still score a spot in the 500 if the US is given a third spot when final quota allocations are determined later this month, the AP reports. (More uplifting news stories.)

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