Erin Jackson of the United States won gold in the women’s 500 meters speed skating at the Beijing Olympics on Sunday, giving the U.S. its first gold medal in the event since 1994.
She could be seen grinning widely after completing her lap in 37.04 seconds and coming out on top, but had to wait for the last pair to finish to embrace her coach and burst into tears.
Silver medallist Miho Takagi of Japan set the pace early, coming out on top in the fourth pairing out of 15 with a time of 37.12 seconds that was not beaten until Jackson’s race.
Angelina Golikova of the Russian Olympic Committee took bronze in 37.21 seconds.
Jackson almost missed the opportunity to represent the United States after a stumble during the Olympic trials, but her teammate Brittany Bowe gave her spot in the 500m race to Jackson.