History is being made! Erin Jackson of the United States became the first African-American woman to win Olympic gold in speed skating as the 29-year-old won America’s first medal in the category since 2010.
- Erin Jackson became the first black woman to win Olympic gold in speed skating.
- Jackson’s victory was also the first U.S. medal in that category in over a decade.
- The 29-year-old was 24th at the first Winter Games four years ago.
Tonight, Erin Jackson became the first African-American woman to be crowned Olympic Ice Rink Queen.
The 29-year-old speed skater from West Jordan, Utah won the gold medal in the women’s 500m skating race.
The new speed star, who finished 24th at her first Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea four years ago, beat Japanese Miho Takagi and Russian Olympic Committee representative Angelina Golikova, who had to settle for silver and bronze.
Erin Jackson became the first black woman to win an Olympic gold medal in speed skating.
On Sunday, the 29-year-old won the 500m with an impressive time of 37.04 seconds.
After winning, she said: “I wish I could describe how I feel. This is amazing.
“This medal means so much. It’s been a tough couple of years and a tough start to this year. I’m so happy that it happened the way it did.”
Upon her arrival in Beijing, Erin declared her aspirations to increase racial diversity in speed skating.
She said: “I understand that people kind of look at people who are like them in terms of what they think they can do.
Jackson is a former figure skater who switched to ice shortly before the PyeongChang Olympics.
“So when people watch the Winter Olympics, roller derby and other types of figure skating, they may not see a lot of people of color.
“I’m looking forward to being one of those people that other young kids and people of color can look at and say, ‘Hey, she’s in there doing it, so we have some insight.’
Jackson’s story is a wonderful road to gold. She only started speed skating in September 2017. She exceeded all expectations by qualifying for the Winter Olympics in South Korea.
She said she had no hopes of qualifying for the Olympic trials, although she had aspirations to be a member of Team USA.
She added, “I just haven’t seen it happen so fast.”
Jackson says she didn’t expect to make it to the Olympic trials, let alone win gold.