Erin Jackson wins gold in 500m speed skating at the Winter Olympics after teammate gives up position

Jackson nearly missed competing in the 500m at the Olympics after she slipped in qualifying challenges, but teammate and friend Brittany Bowe gave up her own spot to secure a number 1 world could come to Beijing – and it paid off.

The 29-year-old Jackson is the first US woman to win a gold medal in speed skating at the Olympics since Bonnie Blair in 1994, and the first black American woman to win a skating gold medal. speed tape at the Olympics. website.

She finished 0.08 seconds ahead of Miho Takagi of Japan in second place and 0.17 seconds ahead of Angelina Golikova of the Russian Olympic Committee in third place.

“I wish I could describe how I feel. It’s amazing. This medal means so much,” Jackson told reporters.

She added: “It wasn’t a perfect race, I had a few wrong steps behind, but I could pull it back. Just a few wrong steps, that’s all.”

At testing in the US last month, Bowe qualified for the 1,000m and 1,500m in Beijing when she ceded her spot in the team to Jackson in the 500m.

“Soon after the race, I knew that if I gave up my spot to get her on the team, I would do it because she deserved it,” Bowe told reporters earlier this week.

“She earned the right to compete in her marching event at the Olympics, and it’s an honor to give her that spot for a chance to race for a gold medal for Team USA.”

Jackson, meanwhile, spoke of the “overwhelming emotion” she went through when Bowe stepped down from her position, adding that “you don’t really know how you feel.”

Bowe ended up also competing in the 500m after other countries returned qualifying positions to the Olympics and some were reallocated to the US. She placed 16th for a time of 38.04.

CNN’s Wayne Sterling contributed to reporting.

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