While the Summer Olympic Games is a veritable rainbow of skin tones when it comes to the athletes; the vast majority of the athletes in the Winter Olympic Games are as white as the ice and snow they run on.

On February 13, 2022, American skater Erin Jackson, who calls sunny Florida home, became the first woman of colour to win a gold medal in speedskating at any Olympics! The Ocala native earned the gold medal in the women’s 500 meter race with a time of 37.04 seconds. It was also the first medal of any kind in speedskating for the winter games in Beijing. It has been over 10 years since the American team has won a medal of any kind in speedskating.

It was a historic moment that almost did not happen. Jackson placed third in the U.S. trials leading into the Olympics; putting her chances for an Olympics shot in jeopardy. But first place skater Brittany Bowe gave up her chance to go to the Olympics in order to give Jackson a chance. As luck would have it, both skaters made the trip but it was Jackson who came out on top.

Jackson is also the first woman of colour to win a World Cup title in speedskating.

In the meantime, 15 year old Russian skater Kamila Valieva, the Russian ice skating team, and the rest of the world await a decision by the IOC – International Olympic Committee – and WADA – the World Anti-Doping Agency on whether she will receive any punishment after it was revealed htat Valieva tested positive for a banned substance.

In other medal presentations:

In the men’s giant slalom, Swiss skier Marco Odematt won the gold medal as real snow fell on the ground of fake snow created for the event. He had to endure a 75 minute weather delay and poor visibility to win the gold.

In the women’s 10k biathlon pursuit, Marte Olsbu Roeiseland added to her collection of gold with her third of these Olympics. Strong winds and blowing snow did not keep her form crossing the finish line first.

In the men’s 4 X 10k cross-country skiing relay, the Russian team took the gold medal. Russia took the lead in the first segment and never gave it up.

In the men’s 500 meter speedskating event, Liu Shaoang of Hungary earned the gold medal with a time of 40.338 seconds.

Norway takes over the lead in gold medals with nine and has increased their lead in overall medals as the first team to top the 20 medal mark with 21.

2022 Beijing Olympics February 11 medal count:
Norway – 21
ROC – Russian Olympic Committee – 17
Austria – 14
Germany – 14
Canada – 14
United States – 12
Netherlands – 12
Italy – 11
Sweden – 11
Japan – 11
France – 10
People’s Republic of China – 9
Switzerland – 8
Slovenia – 6
Republic of Korea – 5
Finland – 4
Australia – 4
Finland – 4
Hungary – 3
Czech Republic – 2
Poland – 1
New Zealand – 1
Belarus – 1
Slovakia – 1
Spain – 1
Latvia – 1
Poland – 1
Belgium – 1