The world’s No. 1 ranked speedskater Erin Jackson is headed to the Beijing Olympics after her friend and teammate gave up her spot after a slip during qualifying trials cost Jackson a place in the team.
Jackson failed to qualify for Beijing 2022 during Friday’s trials when she slipped and finished third — just one place shy of qualifying.
But the 29-year-old got some welcome news when the winner of the event, Brittany Bowe, gave up her spot, allowing Jackson to make the team.
Bowe, 33, will still compete in the 1,000m and 1,500m events in Beijing.
“First and foremost, Erin has earned her right to be on this 500 meter team — she’s ranked number one in the world and no one’s more deserving than her to get an opportunity to bring Team USA home a medal,” Bowe said.
“After that unfortunate slip, I knew in my mind before that night was even over that if it had to come down to a decision of mine, she could have my place,” she added.
In a statement posted to Instagram Monday, Jackson said she was “grateful and humbled” by Bowe’s kindness.
“Definitely not the way I imagined qualifying for my second Olympic team… but I guess I had to one-up my story from the 2018 Trials. I’m incredibly grateful and humbled by the kindness of @BrittanyBowe in helping me to secure a chance at reaching my goals in #Beijing2022,” she wrote.
“She’s an amazing friend, teammate, and mentor and this is an act I’ll never forget. You can bet I’ll be the loudest voice in the oval cheering for her in the 1000 and 1500 next month.
“I’ve grown up with Brittany, I’ve known her, like, almost my whole life. I’ve always known what an incredible person she is, and now it’s really showing.”
In November last year, Jackson became the first Black woman to win a speed skating World Cup event and she will be looking for more success in Beijing in February.
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