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Erin Jackson keynote speaker

Erin Jackson

    • First Black Woman to Win an Individual Olympic Gold Medal in the Winter Olympic Games
    • Olympic Champion, Long Track Speed Skating
Full Bio
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Erin Jackson, first Black woman to win Olympic gold in speed skating, discusses her historic win

Erin Jackson, first Black woman to win Olympic gold in speed skating, discusses her historic win

Erin Jackson Speaker Biography

From Ocala, Florida, Erin Jackson recalls growing up skating at the local roller rink from as far back as she can remember. At nine, she started roller figure skating, but two years later her coach moved away. Always drawn to going fast, she switched to inline speedskating in 2003, and in short order, a star was born.

Erin went on to become a 47-time National Champion, an 11-time World Championships medalist, and in 2015, a Pan Am Games medalist.

Sadly, as a teenager, Erin’s mother, Rita, passed away, but not before instilling in her the importance of academics before athletics. She went on to graduate Cum Laude from the University of Florida with a degree in Materials Science & Engineering. She intends to earn a Master's Degree in Materials Science and pursue a career in biomedical engineering.

In 2012, at the urging of a friend, Erin gave roller derby a try. With the uncanny ability to accelerate quickly, she was a natural fit. She is now one of the top ‘jammers’ in the world, has competed at the sport’s highest level, and is a member of Team USA Roller Derby.

Having reached the pinnacle of competition in both inline skating and roller derby, Erin knew if she wanted a shot at the Olympics she needed to switch to the ice. Following in the footsteps of other inline skaters who had made the transition to the ice, in September of 2017, she packed her bags and moved to Salt Lake City, UT, home of the U.S. National Speedskating Team, with her sights set on what she hoped could be a berth on the 2022 Olympic Team.

A quick study, her racing times began dropping sharply. In January of 2018, entering the competition as a virtual unknown and a long shot at best, she electrified the crowd at the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team Trials and earned her spot on the team, becoming the first black American woman in history to ever do so.

Four years later Erin has evolved into the best of the best, and in Nov. of 2021, she became the first black American woman to win a World Cup Gold Medal, marking herself as the gold medal favorite at the upcoming Beijing 2022 Olympic Games. Despite the enormous pressure, she delivered at those Olympics Games, earning the title of Olympic Champion.

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