Erin Jackson poses for a portrait during the Team USA Beijing 2022 Olympic shoot on Sept. 12, 2021 in Irvine, Calif.
The long track speedskating season has only just begun and already Erin Jackson is a three-time world cup winner.
Jackson, who became the first Black American woman to win an ISU long track world cup race last weekend when the season began in Poland, was victorious once again on Saturday in the 500-meter race in Stavanger, Norway. It was her third win in a row at the distance, having won both races in Poland.
Jackson, 29, is one of the latest to make the successful transition from inline skater to ice, joining fellow Ocala, Florida, natives Brittany Bowe and Joey Mantia. She made the U.S. team in 2017 just four months after the move, making history as the first Black woman on the team, and made her Olympic debut in 2018. She was 24th in the 500-meter. She was seventh in the distance at the 2020 World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships, and set a personal best at the fall world cup qualifying event with a time of 37.08 seconds.
On Saturday, her time of 37.602 seconds was .10 seconds ahead of track record holder and defending Olympic champion Nao Kodaira of Japan, who was second with a time of 37.708. Poland’s Kaja Ziomek was third in 37.746, while Bowe, who won the 1,000 the day before, was eighth with a time of 38.079.
Last weekend in Poland, Jackson beat Kodaira’s track record in the first race then broke her own record in the second with a time of 37.555.
Prior to her first win in Poland, Jackson’s best result in a world cup race was ninth. Now, with three wins in three races, Jackson has complete control of the leaderboard with a second 500-meter race on Sunday. The series then moves to the U.S. for a stop in Salt Lake City in early December and goes to Canada for an event in Calgary, the last before the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in January.
The last U.S. woman to medal in the 500-meter long track event at the Olympic Winter Games was Bonnie Blair in 1994.