Olympic 500-meter speed skating champion Erin Jackson of the United States began her snowboarding career at Leisure World Ice Skating Rink in Dronten.
She put on skate shoes for the first time five years ago. Taken by marathon skater Bianca Rosenbaum. Jackson stayed with her at Heerenveen in the fall of 2016 because she wanted to learn how to snowboard. According to NOS, “Let’s see if you like skateboarding,” Rosen Baum suggested.
The first few meters were scribbled. Rosenbaum: “She could hardly stand, she looked like a rookie.” So was Jackson, of course. I quickly picked up speed skating and in just five years I’ve been able to skate to the top of the world.
Sixteen years ago, Rosenbaum and Jackson first met in Ocala, Florida. 16-year-old Bianca traveled to the United States alone to train at a leading inline skating school. Erin was thirteen years old and had just gotten into inline skate shoes.
“I remember when I got into the ring,” Rosenbaum says. “She had the oldest ski car and she had no money, she came from a very poor family. It was really difficult to buy food.” In addition, Erin Jackson was a caregiver for her mother who became seriously ill. Going to school also struggled as a result. To clear her mind, she went snowboarding and later at a local track. She was talented.
“I want to skate”
Thanks in part to contacting live coach René Hillebrand, she was a regular in the Netherlands and stayed in Heerenveen, where she made the switch to skiing: “She always had the desire to ski,” Rosenbaum says, but because of her care she couldn’t her mother and her studies in Florida. “She said, ‘I’ll finish it first.'”
Jackson’s mother passed away in 2013. In 2015, Jackson graduated with honors from her degree in Applied Physics and Chemistry from the University of Florida. After that, I was able to focus fully on skating.
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