Erin Jackson Makes History At Speed Skating World Cup


Photo: Getty Images

Erin Jackson became the first Black American woman to earn the winning title at the ISU Speed Skating World Cup.

Jackson bested her global competitors on Friday (November 12) competing in the winter sport's 500-meter event in Poland. This is Jackson's first World Cup gold medal and comes just months away from the Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Jackson, a native of Florida, told Dutch news outlet NOS, that her win came at a "big surprise," noting that, "I was hoping to be in podium position."

Not only did she reach the podium, she stood on top of it after completing the 500-meter race in 37.613 seconds, beating out the reigning champion, Nao Kodaira of Japan by 0.13 seconds. Jackson was also racing against all three of the podium-place winners from the last world championships back in February –– an event she didn't race in.

Photo: Getty Images

With this win, Jackson says she's aiming for more gold at the upcoming Winter Games. "It's still really early, so it's anyone's game, but I'm definitely feeling more confidence now," she said.

Jackson's no stranger to making history or being first. She is the first Black woman to compete on the national long-track speed skating team and in 2018 became the first Black woman to qualify for the US Olympic speed skating team after spending just four months training on the ice.

She transitioned from inline skating and roller derby for the icy sports competition and, according to her website, she's a member of all three of the sports' national teams.

On her celebratory Instagram post, Jackson said she's already preparing for the next stop of her season –– World Cup 2 in Norway.

Good luck, Erin!

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