Erin Jackson Wins Gold


Leila Bonilla

On February 13, 2022, Erin Jackson made history by being the first black woman to win gold in the 500-meter speed skating event at the Winter Olympics in Beijing. She finished her lap in 37.04 seconds. She’s also the first woman to win gold in this event in 27 years since Bonnie Blair.

Erin Jackson was born on September 19, 1992, in Ocala, Florida. She is 29 years old. She has one brother, and her parents are Tracy and Rita Jackson. She started roller skating at 8 years old, and then tried inline skating at 10. Jackson won gold in the 2008-09 Junior World Championships in the 500m inline skating race. She started speed skating in 2017 and qualified for the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics with less than a year of experience. She finished third in the 500m.

Jackson initially didn’t qualify for this years Olympics until her teammate as well as friend Brittany Bowe gave up her spot in the event to give Jackson the opportunity to compete. In an interview with Jackson and Bowe, she explained that Erin earned her right to compete in this event, and no one was more deserving of this spot than her.

The journalism teacher Mr. Grimes shared his thoughts about Erin Jackson winning gold. He said, “I got so excited when she won and was so happy for her, especially because we haven’t won a medal in women’s speed skating in so long. She seemed extremely gracious and humble during her interview, which are admirable traits. She represented America fabulously.” Erin Jackson made herself, her family, the African American Community, and our Nation proud.