Born in Ocala, Florida on September 19th, 1992 Erin Jackson has become the first black female athlete to win an Olympic medal in speed skating.
Born to a retired firetruck builder father and a pharmacy technician mother (who passed away when she was in high school), Erin Jackson’s earliest memory of the Olympics was watching Michelle Kwan and other figure skaters competing.
Little did she know how how much of an influential figure she was going to be in the world of the Olympics.
Having attended Shores Christian Academy, Howard Middle School, and Forest High School, Jackson went onto the University of Florida, graduating with honors from the Materials Science & Engineering program.
Upon graduating in 2015, she went on to earn an associate degree in computer science and has also started a degree in exercise science and kinesiology while also looking towards a master’s in biomechanics.
Jackson’s association with skating began when she was 8, when she first tried figure skating and went on to win gold in the 500m inline skating race at the 2008/2009 Junior World Championships. She received the accolade of the United States Olympic Committee Female Athlete of the Year for Roller Sports in 2012 and 2013.
Having changed from artistic roller skating to inline skating after coaches had told her she was too fast, Jackson won 12 world championship medals and 47 titles in inline skating.
But it was only in 2016 was when she started to speed-skate on the ice finding her form. After moving to Salt Lake City to train in 2017 she initially quit, returning back home to Florida.
But the call of the ice was clearly too much.
When traveling to the Olympic trials in January 2018 she chose not to tell anybody, as she had started her speedskating career just five months before the Olympic trials.
Clearly, there was nothing to worry about, and Jackson qualified for The World Games 2017, where she competed in inline speed skating and also qualified for the 500 meters long track speed skating event at the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Finishing 24th in her Winter Olympics debut and coming in first at the 2022 Winter Olympics has meant that this is the first medal for any U.S. speed skater since 2010.
A relative newcomer to the world of ice skating, Jackson started ice skating at the age of 25, but she’s now become one of the biggest names in Winter Olympics history.
On February 13th, 2022, Erin Jackson won Gold in women’s 500m with a time of 37.04, making history in the process, having become the first black woman to win a Winter Olympic Gold in an individual sport (speed skating) and being the first American woman to win Olympic Gold in speed skating since Chris Witty in 2002.
Clearly, her career on the ice is just beginning.