Only last weekend, Erin Jackson of the United States became the first Black woman to ever win an International Skating Union long track World Cup race. Now, she's three-for-three in her last three World Cup races as she makes a serious bid at a potential spot in the upcoming Winter Olympics.
Saturday in Stavanger, Norway, Erin Jackson won her third World Cup speedskating gold of the 2021 season, winning the 500-meter race to take the gold in 37.602 seconds. Jackson beat defending Olympic champion Nao Kodaira of Japan, who finished second yet again after last weekend's season-opening meet in Poland.
Jackson transitioned to the ice from inline skating in 2017, and her recent string of success continues what has been a fast rise through the ranks of speedskating. Jackson made the U.S. Olympic team just four months after switching to speedskating, and she finished 24th in the 500-meters in 2018. Jackson has since gone on to finish seventh at the 2020 World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships.
Jackson's three wins in a row mark a dramatic improvement for her, as her previous best career finish in a World Cup race had been ninth. Jackson's hot streak has put her in prime position ahead of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials with two stops remaining in the World Cup series. The series will visit Salt Lake City in the United States in early December followed by a trip up to Canada for a race in Calgary.
Assuming she does indeed make the Olympic team, Jackson will seek to become the first American woman to medal in the 500-meter long track event since Bonnie Blair in 1994.