The top-ranked female 500m skater in the world will get her chance to compete for a gold at the 2022 Winter Olympics, thanks to a generous gesture by a teammate and friend.
Brittany Bowe, winner of three events at U.S. Speed Skating Olympic Trials including the 500m, revealed Sunday that she will relinquish her spot in the event to Erin Jackson, the world No. 1. Jackson shockingly finished third in the event at Trials due to a slip during her race and was slated to miss the Games.
“Erin earned her right to be on this 500m team. No one is more deserving than her to get an opportunity to bring Team USA home a medal,” Bowe said. “After than unfortunate slip I knew in my mind before that night is even over that if it had to come down to a decision of mine, she could have my place.”
Bowe will still compete in the 1000m and 1500m at next month’s Winter Games and is a medal favorite in both. The 500m is her weakest of the three events.
But her decision was more personal than just Team USA’s medal prospects. Bowe, 33, and Jackson, 29, both hail from Ocala, Florida and have been close friends since childhood.
“I’ve grown up with Brittany, I’ve known her almost my whole life, looking up to her in Ocala. I’ve always known what an incredible person she is, and it’s really showing,” Jackson said. “I’m beyond grateful and humbled. I’m just happy.”
Kimi Goetz, who finished second in both the 500m and 1000m at Trials, will compete alongside both women at the 2022 Games.