Looks Like Black Girls Are About to Dominate Speedskating in the 2018 Winter Olympics

Erin Jackson competes in the Ladies 500-meter event during the U.S. Olympic long-track speedskating trials at the Pettit National Ice Center on Jan. 5, 2018, in Milwaukee. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

The Winter Olympics may just finally be worth watching, because heretofore, the international sports competition has been whiter than Cardi B’s new teeth (and cuz yes, I roots for all the black folks).

On Friday, Erin Jackson became the first black woman to qualify for the U.S. Olympic long-track speedskating team, and the third-ever African American to make the U.S. Olympics team for speedskating, mere months after taking up the sport.


The Chicago Tribune reports that the 25-year-old Floridian finished third, coming in at 39.04 seconds in the 500-meter race in Milwaukee.

She now joins 17-year-old Maame Biney, who recently became the first black woman to qualify for the U.S. speedskating team with her short-track triumph in mid-December.


Jackson has reportedly only been long-track speedskating for four months, after switching over from in-line skating competitions, where she was a three-time roller-sports Athlete of the Year.


Of her win, Jackson reportedly said that she didn’t expect it but that it was “pretty cool.”

Chicagoan Shani Davis was 19 years old when he became the first black athlete to qualify for the U.S. Olympic speedskating team in 2002. He went on to win two gold medals in long-track events and also qualified for his fifth-straight Winter Olympic Games, which open Feb. 9 in South Korea.

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Angela Helm

Ms. Bronner Helm is a Contributing Editor at The Root. Mouthy Black Girl. Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Fellow. Shea Butter Feminist. Virgo Sun, Aries Moon.