Erin Jackson‘s skating sped her up to role model status.
The 29-year-old athlete became the first Black American woman to ever win an Olympic medal for speed skating, according to NBC Sports, when she placed first in the women’s 500m race at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics on Sunday, Feb. 13.
After the victory, she told E! News why she hopes her win will inspire Black girls to follow their dreams. Erin shared, “If, for example, one young Black girl happened to see me out there racing and winning a gold medal… if one girl can be inspired by that to go out there and maybe chase her dreams — whether it’s in winter sports or anything in general — then I’d call that a win. “
The trailblazer said she wants her success not only to be a “good example,” but also to lead to more opportunities for increased diversity in the US for winter sports. She continued, “It means a lot and hopefully it can be a big jumping off point for the program and maybe for all the winter programs.”