USA’s Erin Jackson becomes first African-American woman to win Olympic speedskating gold

History is made! USA’s Erin Jackson becomes first African-American woman to win Olympic speedskating gold, as 29-year-old earns America’s first medal in the category since 2010

  • Erin Jackson became the first Black woman to win Olympic speedskating gold
  • Jackson’s win was also the USA’s first medal in the category for over a decade 
  • 29-year-old previously ranked 24th in first Winter Games four years ago


 Erin Jackson tonight become the first African-American woman to be crowned Queen of the Olympic ice rink.

The 29-year-old speed skater of West Jordan UT took the gold medal in the women’s 500m speed skating race.

The new star of speed, who ranked 24th at her first Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea four years ago beat Japan’s Miho Takagi and Russian Olympic Committee’s Angelina Golikova who had to settle for silver and bronze.

Erin Jackson became the first Black woman to win an Olympic gold medal in speedskating

The 29-year-old won the 500m event on Sunday with an impressive time of 37.04 seconds

The 29-year-old won the 500m event on Sunday with an impressive time of 37.04 seconds 

She said after her victory: ‘ 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 of this year. For this to come around like this, I am so happy.’

Erin had declared it her ambition to increase racial diversity in speed skating on arriving in Beijing.

She said: ‘ I realise people kind of look to people who look like them in terms of what they feel like they can do.

Jackson is former inline skater who switched to ice shortly before Pyeongchang Olympics

Jackson is former inline skater who switched to ice shortly before Pyeongchang Olympics 

‘So when people watch the Olympic Winter games and Roller Derby and other forms of skating, they might not see a lot of people of colour out there.

‘I’m looking forward to being one of those people the other young kids and people of colour can look at and say “hey she’s out there doing it so we have some representation”.’

Jackson’s story is a remarkable climb to gold. She only began speedskating in September 2017. She exceeded all expectations by qualifying for the South Korean Olympic Winter games.

She said she wasn’t expecting to qualify of the Olympic trials, although it was an ambition of her to be a member of team USA.

She added :’ I just didn’t see it happening this quickly.’

Jackson says she did not expect to qualify for Olympic trials, let alone to win gold

Jackson says she did not expect to qualify for Olympic trials, let alone to win gold