Winter Olympics
Speed skater Erin Jackson's quote about Brittany Bowe is so sweet.

Erin Jackson Said The Sweetest Thing About The Teammate Who Helped Get Her To The Olympics

Brittany Bowe gave up her spot to support Jackson.

by Collette Reitz
Stacy Revere/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

Long before the 2022 Winter Olympics opening ceremony, there was plenty of excitement on the U.S. Speed Skating Olympic Team. Speed skater Erin Jackson’s quotes about Brittany Bowe at the opening ceremony on Feb. 4 speak to just how much these teammates support each other. When Bowe and Jackson competed in the U.S. trials in early January 2022, they likely didn’t expect what would happen next: Jackson, a highly skilled skater, slipped on the ice and was set to not qualify for the games until Bowe stepped in and declined her spot, giving Jackson the chance to compete in Beijing. It was sportsmanship at its finest, and Jackson is quick to share how much she appreciates Bowe and her friendship, calling her an “amazing teammate.”

Ever since Bowe gave up her 500m spot at the Olympic Trials in Milwaukee after No. 1-ranked Jackson slipped and placed third during her run on Jan. 7, the two teammates have done nothing but support each other. Jackson again took the time to shout out Bowe as the 29-year-old was interviewed ahead of the 2022 Olympic opening ceremony. When asked about Bowe, Jackson shared, “She’s an amazing person, an amazing friend, and amazing teammate.”

Jackson also elaborated on how excited she is that Bowe, who was also named a flag bearer for Team USA, was able to eventually make the team: “I’m just so glad her good karma came back around so quickly, so now all of us will get to race the 500.”

Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

At the time she gave up her spot, Bowe, who had also qualified for the 1000m and 1500m, said of her decision, “In my heart, there was never a question that I would do whatever it took — if it came down to me — to get Erin to skate at the Olympics,” per the 2022 Olympics website. Cut to the 2022 Winter Olympics, and Jackson and Bowe will skate the Women’s 500m together on Feb. 13.

Jackson’s appreciation for her teammate is a great example for budding athletes looking up to her, and she also recognizes the example she sets, especially for young Black girls. The decorated speed skater became the first Black woman to win a speed skating World Cup in November 2021, per NBC Sports. “You don’t get to see a whole lot of diversity, so I just hope I can be someone who they can see and say, ‘Oh, maybe I’ll get out and try one of these sports,’” Jackson shared during an interview ahead of the opening ceremony.

The Olympian also said she tries “to be a good example whenever [she] can,” and from Jackson’s quotes about her teammate and impressive resume, it’s clear she’s keeping that promise.