Erin Jackson Wins Olympic Gold for Team USA in 500-meter Speed Skating

Team USA’s Erin Jackson won a brilliant gold in the women’s 500-meter speed skating at the Beijing Olympics on Sunday and became the first Black woman to ever medal in the sport.

“Hopefully, this has an effect,” Jackson said. “Hopefully, we’ll see more minorities, especially in the USA, getting out and trying these winter sports.”

Jackson, 29, went in the penultimate pair, and her time of 26.71 seconds was enough to see her take gold ahead of early leader Takagi Miho. She started quickly, beating Takagi’s first split by 0.02 seconds and she maintained that to end up winning by 0.08 seconds.

It was a remarkable performance from Jackson, who is the first American woman to medal in the 500 since Bonnie Blair won her third straight gold in 1992. Jackson is the United States’ first speed skating Olympic gold medalist since Shani Davis won the men’s 1,000 at Vancouver 2010.

Despite the win, Jackson still had critiques of her performance.

“It wasn’t the perfect race, I had a couple of missteps on the back straight, but I could pull it together,” Jackson said. “Just a couple of missteps, that’s all.”

This is Jackson’s second Olympics, after she competed in Pyeongchang, where she became the first Black woman to represent the U.S. in speed skating, after taking up the sport only five months prior, in September 2017.

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SOURCE: ESPN, Tom Hamilton