The incredible gesture of a teammate to hand Erin Jackson a spot in an event at the Winter Olympics has paid off as Jackson became the first black woman to win an individual gold medal at the games.
Jackson went into the qualifiers for the Women’s 500m Speed Skating as the outright favourite but a slip saw the 29-year-old miss out on a spot in Beijing.
Her teammate Brittany Bowe however could not stand to see Jackson missing out on the games and gave up her spot, telling her to claim gold in Beijing.
And that’s what Jackson did, claiming a win for all minorities at the games.
“Hopefully, this has an effect,” Jackson said after her victory.
“Hopefully, we’ll see more minorities, especially in the USA, trying these winter sports. I hope to be a good example.”
Jackson’s victory marks the first time in 12 years that any American has won a skating medal and also the first medal by an American woman in the event since 2002.
“It is amazing. This medal means so much. It has been a tough couple of years and a tough beginning of this year. I am so happy that this has come around,” she said.
Jackson is the number one ranked female speed skater in the world, claiming four of the past eight World Cups in the event.
Her teammate Bowe did not enjoy the same success as Jackson. She finished 16th in the same event.
The United States has seven gold medals and a total of 15 medals.
Norway lead the gold medal table with nine thus far, Germany finds themselves in second place. The United States is third..
Image source: @NPR