Erin Jackson emerges as Olympic favorite with third straight World Cup win (video)


Less than 100 days until the start of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, speed skater Erin Jackson has established herself as a pre-Games favorite.

On Saturday, Jackson won the 500-meter race at the World Cup stop in Stavanger, Norway – her third straight win at the distance. Jackson crossed the line in 37.602 seconds. Japan’s Nao Kodaira – the reigning Olympic champion in the distance – finished second in 37.708, while Poland’s Kaja Ziomek placed third.

Last week, Jackson became the first Black woman to win a long track speed skating World Cup race when she finished first in the 500m at a stop in Tomaszow, Poland.

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Fellow American Brittany Bowe has also had a strong start to the Olympic season, winning the 1000m on Friday in a Stavanger track record (1:14.168) – video is embedded below. Last weekend in Poland, the 33-year-old Bowe finished on the podium twice, placing second in the 1000m and first in the 1500m.

Both Jackson, 29, and Bowe grew up in Ocala, Florida, where they excelled as inline skaters before making the transition to speed skating.

“I’ve known Brittany since I was 10,” Jackson said at the Team USA media summit last month. “She’s just always been a great person, a great athlete, and just having her here as a trailblazer for me on the ice has been great, too.”

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Follow Alex Azzi on Twitter @AlexAzziNBC