Jackson won Sunday's 500-meter race in 37.04 seconds. This was the American speedkating team's first Beijing Games medal and its first individual medal since 2010.
This one was more than just national pride.
Jackson, 29, a former inline skater, switched to speedskating shortly before the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics. She was joined by Shani Davis, an American, as the only Black athlete to win speedskating medals.
Miho Takagi from Japan won the silver medal, while Angelina Golikova, a member of the Russian team, took the bronze.
Jackson won gold after the native of Ocala, Florida fell at the U.S. trials. She shockingly came third, which put her spot on the Olympic team in doubt.
Brittany Bowe, a teammate, finished first in the trials. decided to give up her spot on team so that Jackson could skate in Beijing.
Jackson was a fan of Bowe at the time and called her an "amazing friend", teammate, mentor, and colleague."
She wrote, "This is an act that I will never forget." "I can guarantee that I will be cheering her on in the 1000 or 1500 next month."
Bowe was able to skate because the Americans took third in the 500 after the final allocations were made. She was 16th.
Jackson skated in the 15th pair with Takagi's time 37.12, which was set approximately half an hour earlier in the fourth pairing.
It was not a slip she thought about at the U.S. trials.
Jackson ran off the line quickly and was right under Takagi's watch as she turned into the first turn. She maintained her speed as she crossed straight into the final turn and wailed both arms furiously to reach the end of speedskating's shortest course.
Jackson turned her head toward the scoreboard as soon as her skates crossed over the line.
When she saw the number "1", she smiled big. Ryan Shimabukuro was her coach and he pumped his arms as she glided past.
Jackson knew that there was only one pair left, but she was confident Jackson could win bronze.
Within minutes, she had the gold.
Jackson sat down on the padding in the infield and seemed to be in tears, her head bowing.
It was clear that she was also reflecting on her incredible journey.
Inline and roller derby skating champion knew that she would need to swap her wheels for blades in order to reach the Olympics.
She made the move just months before the Pyeongchang Olympics and was so quick to learn that she was offered a spot on the U.S. Team. Although she finished 24th in 500, it was obvious that she had not fully tapped into her potential.
Jackson emerged suddenly as one of the best sprinters in the world during the current World Cup season. Jackson won four out of eight 500 races, becoming the first Black woman to win one. She also became one of the favourites for the Olympics.
In Beijing, she lived up to her billing and became the first American woman ever to win an individual Olympic gold medal since 2002.
She took out an American flag, and she did a victory lap around Ice Ribbon oval with the stars and stripes flying above her head.