For some athletes, making it to the Olympics involves years and years of honing their skills in their sport. For others, it doesn’t take quite that much.
Erin Jackson falls into the second category. She is a 25-year-old world champion in-line skater and roller derby enthusiast. She was thrilled when she won the world championship, but she knew that she couldn’t achieve her goal: the Olympics.
That’s because the Olympics host most sports. But one sport that has been left out of the Games is in-line skating. Yes, they have ice skating, but not in-line.
But Jackson wasn’t ready to give up on her dream of becoming an Olympic athlete that easily. She decided to transition her abilities in in-line skating onto the ice.
So she started attending beginner’s classes in speed skating. She quickly progressed. Four months into her training, her coaches encouraged her to go to the Olympic trials.
And somehow, even as a beginner to the sport, she made the Olympic team.
“I wasn’t expecting it at all,” she shared. “I was still going to ‘learn to speed skate’ classes just before I was going to the trials.”
Though it seems that she’s a natural, it hasn’t been easy for Jackson. “This is probably the hardest thing I’ve had to do,” she shared. “Just because every other port I’ve done was a pretty easy transition. I had a really good base with in-line skating. But with ice, it feels pretty foreign to me. It definitely didn’t come natural to me. I really had to work at it.”
She had no idea that she would make the team. “I wasn’t really expecting any of this, just coming in as a newbie, just trying to do the best I can,” she shared at the Olympic trials. “A couple weeks ago, I was still in the 40s. I think I hadn’t even broken 40 [seconds] yet, so it’s all happened really fast.”
What an incredible story for Erin Jackson. Check out her event on February 18th.
In other news, this student was shocked to discover that she failed an assignment. Find out why here.