Women's History Month: Erin Jackson Inspires Others With Her Determination

The 29-year-old was the first Black woman to win a gold medal in speed skating at the Beijing Winter Olympics.

Decorated Olympian Erin Jackson is a certifiable sports star. The 29-year-old competitive athlete won a gold medal for the United States in the women's 500-meter speed skating at the Beijing Olympics. She is the first Black woman to ever medal in the history of the sport and simultaneously became the first Black woman to win a Winter Olympic gold in an individual sport.

"Hopefully, this has an effect," Jackson said after her historic win in Beijing. "Hopefully, we'll see more minorities, especially in the USA, getting out and trying these winter sports."

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Jackson first got her start as an inline roller skater before competing years later on a competitive roller derby team. Just four years before her Olympic win, the Ocala, Florida native, tried ice skating for the first time. She went on to qualify for the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympic Winter Games in South Korea.

Jackson holds a degree in Materials Science & Engineering from the University of Florida.

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