Erin Jackson has made history by becoming the first black woman to win an Olympic gold medal in speedskating. She first broke the color barrier when she slipped during the trials, but this year has been a completely different story. After her disappointing debut in the trials, she has been on a tear all season, winning every competition she entered. What’s more, she is currently pursuing her degree in kinesiology at a community college.
Erin Jackson is the first black woman to medal in speedskating
The U.S. Olympic speed skating team consists of all-white females, but Erin Jackson is a black woman who made history by making the team for the first time. Jackson was born in Chicago and began training on the ice in 2016, but it wasn’t until 2017 that she actually began competing on ice. In November, she won the World Cup women’s 500-meter race in Tomaszow Mazowiecki, Poland. However, her spot was in jeopardy when she slipped at the U.S. trials, so she made the most of the opportunity in Beijing.
Jackson is the first Black woman to win an Olympic medal for speed skating in the past 16 years. She joins fellow black athletes Shani Davis and Yuki Takagi, who won medals in the men’s 1,000-meter race in both the 2010 and 2006 Games. The Russian Olympic Committee’s Angelina Golikova earned bronze. Jackson has since won a second consecutive World Cup 500-meter gold.
She slipped midway through her qualifying race at the trials
Erin Jackson missed her chance to qualify for the Olympics after slipping midway through her qualifying race during the U.S. Olympic Trials in January. The 30-year-old skater slipped on the track midway through her 500-meter time trial and fell, finishing third. After the race, she hoped to re-skate but officials said there was no time for reskating. Still, she was certain to qualify for the 2026 Olympics.
The American had a good chance to qualify based on her results at the World Cup, where she placed fourth in the 500-meter event. But a bad edge came her way and she slipped midway through her race. While top two finishers guaranteed a spot in the Olympics, Jackson’s fall cost her that opportunity.
She has dominated this season
Erin Jackson has been dominating this season. Even as a young athlete, she is a threat to take the gold in the 500m. Jackson has won four of her eight 500m races and has placed on the podium twice. The two gold medals she has earned this season were huge accomplishments for a girl who started skating at the age of five. Erin is determined to make the best of the opportunity and is heading to Beijing to try to win the gold.
She is pursuing a degree in kinesiology at a community college
In addition to a full course load, Jackson is juggling her studies with her active lifestyle. She was an inline speed skater and ran track for the Florida Wildcats, while also serving as the project manager of the robotics team. As a result, Jackson achieved incredible success while still in high school. After graduating with honors from the University of Florida in 2015, she took a year off from school to prepare for the Winter Olympics. While attending school, she prioritizes her coursework.
In addition to her competitive skating schedule, Erin Jackson is pursuing a degree in kinesiology at a community college. Her dream job is to combine her passions for sports and athletic equipment and prosthetics. This past winter, Jackson missed the opening ceremonies in her hometown of Tampa, Florida. She finished a disappointing fourth in the Olympic Games in 2008, but has big ambitions for this year. As a result, her name will be prominently featured on NBC in the near future. She will be compared to two-time Olympic medalist Shani Davis. She will be considered one of the most important Black stars in the sport, if not the first.