The American Speed Skater Brittany Bowe receives a Fair Play Award

by International Speedskating Union

In my heart, there was never a question that I would do whatever it took... to get Erin to skate at the Olympics.
Brittany Bowe

Brittany Bowe (USA), three-time Olympian and seven-time Speed Skating World Champion, was presented today with a Fair Play award from the International Fair Play Committee (CIFP) in recognition of her extraordinary display of sporting spirit during the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.  

Brittany Bowe’s remarkable gesture goes back to the Beijing 2022. While Bowe came out first in the 500m Speed Skating USA Olympic trials, her teammate Erin Jackson was less fortunate when an error on the second straight dropped her outside the automatic qualification places. However, Bowe felt that her long-time friend Jackson deserved to be in Beijing after her four World Cup wins during the 2012/22 season. Bowe thus decided to step aside and give her spot in the 500m race so that Jackson could compete (read more here).


“In my heart, there was never a question that I would do whatever it took - if it came down to me - to get Erin to skate at the Olympics. At that time it seemed to me that the only way Erin will get to compete in the Olympics is if one of us gives up that spot,” Bowe said to explain her move.

It turned out that Team USA later received another spot in the 500m, so that Jackson and Bowe ended up competing the race alongside each other. Finally, Jackson won the gold medal for Team USA, honoring Bowe’s Olympic spirit and friendship (read more here). Jackson became the first American Speed Skater to win an Olympic gold medal in the Women’s 500m since 1994.

The 2023 Fair Play award was presented to Brittany Bowe by IOC President Thomas Bach during a ceremony held at the newly-inaugurated “Espace Fair Play” (Fair Play Space) in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Brittany Bowe receives Fair Play Award in Lausanne, Switzerland (Photo by Brittany Bowe)