During the United States Olympic long-track speedskating trials on Sunday, a selfless gesture resulted in one American's Olympic dreams becoming a reality. United States speedskating star Brittany Bowe chose to relinquish her 500-meter spot in the 2022 Winter Olympics to teammate Erin Jackson.
Bowe will still be competing in the 1,000 and 1,500-meter speedskating events at the 2022 Beijing Olympics -- her third Olympics -- but now Jackson will be able to participate at the Games as well. It will be the second time Jackson has competed in the Olympics.
Jackson ended up finishing in third place at the speedskating trials after she stumbled during her run. She is the world's fastest 500m skater based on the World Cup Series, but the trials are the only way to earn a place onto the United States Olympic team. So the only way for Jackson to make her way onto the Olympic team would be for someone to drop out.
That's where Bowe came in. Bowe has known Jackson since the latter was only 10, which makes the gesture all the more special.
"I mean, in my heart there was never a question that I would do whatever it took, if it came down to me, to get Erin to skate the Olympics," Bowe said "No one is more deserving than her."
"Erin has a shot to bring home a medal – hopefully a gold medal – and it’s my honor to give her that opportunity. She’s earned it and she deserves it."@BrittanyBowe on her decision to give up her Olympic spot in the 500m to her friend @ErinJackson480. @USSpeedskating @OnHerTurf pic.twitter.com/JaT58YCQ3s— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) January 9, 2022
Jackson referred to Bowe as "a very close" friend and is looking forward to the chance to stand on the podium with her in Bejing.
"I was kind of given this gift from a very close friend of mine," Jackson said. "And it would be awesome for both of us to be able to stand on the top of the podium in our races and just kind of share that moment."