It's a Gold Medal, and a Big Milestone

Erin Jackson is the first Black woman to win a speedskating medal at the Olympics
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 13, 2022 9:30 AM CST
After Teammate's Selfless Move, a Gold Medal
Erin Jackson of the United States after her heat in the speedskating women's 500-meter race at the 2022 Winter Olympics Sunday in Beijing.   (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

(Newser) – Erin Jackson has become the first Black woman to win a speedskating medal at the Winter Olympics. And a gold one, at that. Jackson won the 500 meters Sunday with a time of 37.04 seconds, giving the American speedskating program its first medal of the Beijing Games and first individual medal since 2010, per the AP. Jackson's gold came after the native of Ocala, Florida, slipped at the US trials and shockingly finished third, putting her spot on the Olympic team in jeopardy. But teammate Brittany Bowe, who finished first at the trials, gave up her spot on the team to ensure Jackson would get to skate in Beijing.

As it turned out, the Americans received a third place in the 500 when the final allocations were made, so Bowe got to skate as well. She finished 16th. The silver went to Miho Takagi of Japan, while Angelina Golikova of the Russian team took the bronze. The 29-year-old Jackson is a former inline skater who switched to ice shortly before the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics. She joined fellow American Shani Davis, a male skater, as the only Black athletes to win speedskating medals at the Olympics. He won his gold medal in 2006.

(Read more 2022 Beijing Olympics stories.)

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