Former inline skater Erin Jackson surprised everyone — including herself — by finishing third in the 500 meter race in the long track speed skating Olympic trials in West Allis, Wisconsin on Friday, becoming the first black woman to make the team in long track.
She joins two other African American speed skaters on the team. Earlier in the week, Shani Davis — the first African American ever to win an Olympic gold, which he in 2006 — qualified in the 1,000 and Maame Davis made the short track team.
Jackson finished in a personal best time of 39.04. She had never broken 40 seconds before.
“I really wasn’t expecting any of this, just coming in as a newbie, just trying to do the best I can,” she told Sports Illustrated. “I still don’t even know.”