US speedskater Erin Jackson makes history in Beijing
U.S. speedskater Erin Jackson made history with her victory in the 500-meter sprint in Beijing on Sunday, becoming the first black woman to win a gold medal in her sport, The Washington Post reported.
Jackson’s time of 37.04 seconds beat out Japan’s Miho Takagi, who won the silver medal with a 37.12 seconds finish, 0.08 seconds behind Jackson. Russia’s Angelina Golikova took home the bronze.
“Hopefully, it has an effect,” Jackson said of her gold medal, according to the New York Times. “Hopefully we can see, you know, more minorities, especially in the U.S.A., getting out and trying some of these winter sports. And I just always hope to be a good example.”
Jackson teammates, Brittany Bowe and Kimi Goetz, finished in 16th and 18th in the 500-meter race.
Bowe gave up her first-place 500-meter spot to Jackson after she slipped up during the Olympic trials, the Post reported.
Jackson, a native of Ocala, Fl., also becomes the first American woman to medal in an individual speedskating event since 2002.
Former U.S. speedskater Bonnie Blair gold medalled in the individual 500-meter event three times from 1988 to 1994, the Post noted.
Speedskater Shani Davis became the first Black athlete to win a Winter Olympics individual gold medal with his 1000-meter victory in 2006, per the Times.