Erin Jackson completed a remarkable journey to become a Winter Olympic speed skating champion by winning 500m gold in Beijing - having nearly missed out on going to China altogether.
The American, who was once an inline skater and competed at Pyeongchang 2018 having only raced in speed skating for the first time four months before the Games, set the fastest time after Japan's Miho Takagi led for most of the event.
The 29-year-old may owe experienced US team-mate Brittany Bowe a favour after pulling off the win. Jackson slipped during Olympic trials and was likely to miss out on qualifying, but Bowe - who had already secured her place in Beijing, albeit in a different distance - offered up her place instead, knowing that Jackson had dominated the World Cup circuit.
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It paid off, with Jackson winning gold - and Bowe was eventually picked to compete in the 500m, where she placed 16th.
The benchmark pace was set when the fourth pair took to the ice, with Takagi clocking 37.12.
With seven pairs to go, Takagi was still leading - but there were some big hitters still to come. European champion Femke Kok was the first of them, but she failed to trouble the top three, crossing the line and shaking her head with disappointment.
Skaters came and went while Takagi pedalled on a bike watching while retaining the lead, but the final three pairs were stacked with the world and Olympic title holders.
World champion Angelina Golikova looked like she was on pace to displace her in a pair which also included the Pyeongchang 2018 gold medallist Nao Kodaira - but neither were able to go top of the leaderboard, with Golikova of the Russian Olympic Committee only nudging into the silver medal position.
But the best was saved for the end of the event, with Jackson bursting out from the start and setting the fastest time, moving into gold medal position by just 0.08. Only one pair were left, but they could not challenge Jackson, who broke down in tears as her victory was confirmed.
"I'd summarize it like this: I've known Britt for many years," Jackson told Insider before the Games.
"The world has long since known that she is a great athlete. With her gesture to me, the world got to see that she is a great leader of our speed skating team, a great person, and a great friend."
"I'm blessed to have someone like that in my life, I'd like the narrative of the story to be less about me, and more about what she did, so selflessly, for me."
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