American speed skater Erin Jackson nearly didn’t get the opportunity to compete at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, and now she has a gold medal to her name.
Jackson became the first American woman to medal in the 500 meter race since 1994, winning the gold medal over Takagi Miho of Japan and Angelina Golikova of the Russian Olympic Committee.
Erin Jackson wins GOLD. First American woman to medal in the 500m since the 90s.
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) February 13, 2022
Jackson also became the first black woman to medal in speed skating.
“I wish I could describe how I feel. It is amazing. This medal means so much. It has been a tough couple of years and a tough beginning for this year,” Jackson said.
“For this to come around like this I am so happy,” she added. “It wasn’t the perfect race, I had a couple of miss-steps on the back straight, but I could pull it together. Just a couple of miss-steps, that’s all.”
During qualifying, Jackson missed out on a spot on the Olympic team after slipping during her run. But her teammate, Brittany Bowe, gave up her spot in the 500 meters so that Jackson could compete in the 2022 Olympic Games.
“Right after the race, I knew that if it came down to me relinquishing my spot for her to be named on the team, I would do that because she deserves it,” Bowe told reporters earlier this week.
“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,” Bowe added.
Following the win, Jackson showed her appreciation for Bowe’s decision to give up her spot in the 500 meters.
“She made a really big sacrifice for me,” Jackson said after her win. “I’ll be grateful to her forever.”
While it was a slow start at the Winter Olympics for Team USA, Jackson’s gold medal gives the United States six total golds, five silver medals, and one bronze medal.
On Thursday, snowboarding star Chloe Kim won her second straight gold medal in the women’s halfpipe, scoring a 94 on her first run, and becoming the first American woman to win two gold medals in the halfpipe event. Also on Thursday, Nathan Chen became the first U.S. men’s Olympic figure skater since 2010 to win a gold medal.
“It means the world. I’m just so happy,” Chen said following the win, adding there were “too many emotions to process.”
“It’s a whirlwind right now,” Chen continued. “I had a blast out there.”
Chen claimed the gold days after setting the world-record with the highest score in the history of the short program, getting a 113.97 from the judges. Chen landed a triple axel and two quadruple jumps in his routine, vaulting the American to the top of the leaderboard.
Lindsey Jacobellis won gold in the Women’s Snowboard Cross competition, and won gold in the Mixed Team Snowboard Cross alongside Nick Baumgartner. Team USA also took home the gold in the Freestyle Skiing Mixed Team Aerials.
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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