Erin Jackson Makes History as First Black Woman to Win Winter Olympic Gold
Ending the United States’ individual medal drought since 1994.
Erin Jackson ended the United States‘ medal drought in speed skating during her Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics win on Sunday. The athlete is also the first Black woman to win gold in any individual event at the Games.
The former roller derby skater from Ocala, Florida, finished with a time of 37.04 seconds in the all-out sprint for one and a quarter laps. Jackson nearly saw her Olympic dream dashed when she fell during last month’s U.S. trial in Milwaukee, but her friend Brittany Bowe gave up her spot. Following her win, the skater hopes to set a precedent for underrepresented athletes in the sporting realm.
As reported by The Guardian, she said: “Hopefully, we’ll see more minorities, especially in the USA, getting out and trying these winter sports.” Japanese all-rounder Miho Takagi finished second with a time of 37.12 seconds, whereas Angelina Golikova from the Russian Olympic Committee came in bronze — only 0.09 seconds after Takagi.
With four wins under her belt in eight World Cup races this season, Jackson’s record on Sunday marked the nation’s first in the 500m event since 1994. “It’s been a big roller coaster,” the athlete said. “It’s been a wild ride but this [gold] makes it even sweeter.”