Erin Jackson made history at the 2022 Winter Olympics when she won gold in the women’s speed skating 500m.
The Team USA star is the first Black woman to medal in speedskating at the Olympics. She also became the first American to win the 500m since Bonnie Blair in 1994.
Jackson nearly didn’t compete in Beijing after falling during the qualifiers. Her teammate and friend Brittany Bowe gave up her spot on the roster for Jackson, though Bowe was eventually added to the roster.
Here’s everything you need to know about Jackson:
Is this Erin Jackson’s first Olympics?
Jackson made her Olympic debut in 2018, where she competed in the 500m and finished 24th with a time of 39.20. Her 37.04-second winning time in the 2022 Games was a 2.16-second improvement from her 2018 run.
What did Erin Jackson win?
By now you already know about Jackson’s historic victory in Beijing. But what else has she won?
Last November, Jackson won her first Speedskating World Cup races in the 500m with two track records. With that, she became the first Black American woman to win in the World Cup.
Where is Erin Jackson from?
Jackson was born in Ocala, Fla. She grew up in the area, attending Forest High School in the same northern Florida city. Jackson stayed in her home state for college, attending the University of Florida and graduating from the Materials Science & Engineering program with honors.
When did Erin Jackson start speed skating?
It may seem impossible, but Jackson didn’t start speed skating until February of 2017. One year later, she was already in the Olympics.
She began inline skating back in 2002, but didn’t become a full-time speed skater until Sept. 2017.
How old is Erin Jackson?
She is 29 years old — born on Sept. 19, 1992.