World history has been rewritten with Jackson’s historic win defeating 2018 Olympic champion Nao Kodaira from Japan to claim a historic maiden World Cup title.
The trailblazer won the 500 meters Friday at the Olympic season opener in Poland, finishing in 37.613 seconds ahead of defending Olympic champion Nao Kodaira of Japan who was 0.13 seconds behind.
“Kind of a big surprise,” the 29-year-old U.S. skater told Dutch broadcaster NOS. “I was hoping to be in podium position,” before revealing some big ambitions for the Beijing 2022 Winter Games:
“Dreaming of Olympic gold like everyone else,” she said. “It’s still really early, so it’s anyone’s game, but I’m definitely feeling more confidence now.”
This isn’t the first time Jackson is making history, recall the 29-year-old skater became the first Black woman to qualify for a U.S. Olympic long-track speed skating team in 2018, just four months after taking up the sport. Jackson finished 24th in the 500 at the Pyeongchang Games.
Jackson delved to ice from inline skating in 2003.
Last year, following an eye injury and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Jackson didn’t compete internationally last season, her previous best World Cup finish was in ninth place.