January 10, 2022
(Reuters) – American speed skater Erin Jackson’s dream of chasing gold in her signature 500 meters event at next month’s Beijing Olympics is back on after a selfless act from a good friend and teammate who gave up her own spot on Sunday.
Jackson, who is ranked number one in the world in the 500 meters, slipped during the 500m at the U.S. Speed Skating Trials on Friday in Milwaukee where she crossed the line in third place and missed out on securing one of the two qualifying spots.
But Jackson was the beneficiary of an act of kindness from Brittany Bowe, who enjoyed a sweep of the 500m, 1000m and 1500m distances at the trials to secure a spot in the three events at Beijing before ultimately relinquishing one.
“Before we left the building on Friday night, I had to give Erin a hug and told her that … if it came down to me, she could have my spot because she earned it,” Bowe said in a report on NBC Sports.
Bowe reportedly decided to make it official after getting notice on Sunday from U.S. Speed Skating for her to return to the rink for the official Olympic team announcement.
“I just had to make my official call because I couldn’t have had a celebratory time without Erin there,” Bowe said in the report.
Team USA later tweeted “mission complete” along with a photo of Jackson, who will be competing in her second Olympics having finished 24th at Pyeongchang in 2018 not long after she had switched to the ice from inline skating.
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Chris Reese)