Erin Jackson, 29, has made history becoming the first Black woman to win gold in a solo speed skating event at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, reported CNN. Team USA reported she performed the women’s 500-meter event with a time of 37.04, coming in just 0.08 seconds ahead of Japan’s Miho Takagi.
This is also the first speed skating gold for a U.S. woman since Bonnie Blair in 1994. Jackson shared her excitement after the win with CNN reporters.
“I cried immediately, it was just a big release of emotion. A lot of shock, a lot of relief and a lot of happiness. I haven’t fully processed everything quite yet, but it just feels amazing,” Jackson told reporters.
She added: “I had a little misstep on the backstretch, but I just tried to, I wouldn’t say recover, because it wasn’t anything big, but just tried to continue skating.”
Those tears after a big win are genuine, especially when you remember how you got to that win. Though she was critiquing her performance, it’s important to note a ‘misstep’ is actually part of the reason she got to the Olympics.
During the qualifying trials, Jackson slipped during her 500m and thought her chance at the Olympics was gone, per CNN. However, her friend and teammate Brittany Bowe knew that mistake didn’t reflect Jackson’s skills at skating and decided to give up her spot in the 500m to ensure Jackson could truly showcase her talent.
And boy, did she show up and show out.
“She has earned the right to compete in her marquee event at the Olympics, and it was an honor to give her that spot for the opportunity to race for gold for Team USA,” said Bowe to CNN. Jackson showered Bowe in ‘thank you’s’ after the race.
Imagine making Black history during Black History Month. Black women have been racking up on a lot of firsts this year and they just keep on coming. We love to see it.