Another U.S. speedskating Olympic trial, another African-American woman on the team that’s headed to the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, next month.
Erin Jackson, a 25-year-old from Ocala, Florida, Friday became the first African American woman to qualify for the U.S. Olympic speedskating team in the long track competition.
She accomplished the feat at the trials in Milwaukee nearly three weeks after 17-year-old Maame Biney became the first African-American woman to make the U.S. team in short track competition.
What makes Jackson’s road to PyeongChang, South Korea, especially stunning is that she’s only been doing long track ice skating for four months.
“I surprised myself a lot. I really wasn’t expecting any of this,” Jackson said after making the team. “Just coming in as a newbie trying to do the best that I can.”
Like several other speedskaters, Jackson made the transition to ice from inline skating, where she won a bunch of medals in international competition from 2008 to 2015. She’s a three-time roller sport athlete of the year.
“I’ve been an inline speedskater for 15 years,” Jackson said. “I came to Salt Lake City (Olympic oval) for the first time in March, well the end of February into March. Then I went back to inline for the summer and came back to Salt Lake in September, so it’s been about four months combined.”
Jackson is also a roller derby veteran. She began in the bruising sport in 2012 and was a member of the New Jax City Rollers, part of Jacksonville Roller Derby, an all-female flat-track roller derby league in Florida.
— Andy Frye (@MySportsComplex) January 6, 2018
ERIN JACKSON HAS ONLY BEEN SPEED SKATING FOR FOUR MONTHS. FOUR GODDAMN MONTHS. (She was an inline skater before that.) pic.twitter.com/vH73KzDuDf
— Lily Herman (@lkherman) January 6, 2018
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