Erin Jackson is the first African-American woman to ever compete in long track speedskating

Feb. 16, 2018

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When U.S. Olympic speedskater Erin Jackson takes the ice in Pyeongchang, South Korea, she will already be making history.

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She’s the first African-American woman to compete in her event of long track speedskating.

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Jackson qualified for the event after just four months of formal training.

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She originally wanted to compete in the Olympics in 2022, but made the 2018 team by shaving a full second off her best time at qualifiers in Wisconsin.

John Locher/AP

In case you were wondering, in speedskating, a second is a very long time.

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I’m looking forward just to being someone that children and people of color can look to, and maybe make them say, ‘Maybe this is a sport that I can get into.’

— Erin Jackson to Rolling Stone

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Jackson will compete in the women’s 500-meter long track event on Feb. 18 at 6:56 a.m. Eastern.

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