Jacqueline Joyner-Kersee

jacquie.gif (31871 bytes)Jacqueline "Jackie" Joyner-Kersee is known abroad and throughout the United States, as the "World’s Greatest Female Athlete." She is a six-time Olympic Medalist, earning three gold medals, one silver, and two bronze, and, holds the world and Olympic record in the heptathlon – a two-day event in which athletes compete in the 100-meter hurdles, high jump, shot put, and 200-meter race on the first day; and in the long jump, javelin, and 800-meter race on the second day. She is the American record holder for the long jump and the 50 & 60 meter hurdles.

Her legendary athletic career began to unfold in 1986, when she set the world heptathlon record of 7,161 points at the Goodwill Games in Moscow, Russia, becoming the first to exceed 7,000 points. In 1987, she tied the world record in the log jump at 24 feet, 5 ½ inches, and won the heptathlon at the World Championships. At the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, Jackie began the heptathlon by breaking the Olympic long-jump record, flying 23 feet and 10 ¼ inches, and won a second gold medal by setting another Olympic long-jump record at 24 feet, 3 ½ inches. She broke her own record, scoring 7,291 points in the heptathlon at the Olympics in Seoul. At the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, she became the first to win consecutive golds in the heptathlon. At the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta, Georgia, she was forced to withdraw from the heptathlon because of an injury, but bravely competed in the long jump and won the bronze medal. On July 25, 1998, back in her hometown, Jackie competed for the last time at the Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, Ralph Korte Stadium.

Jackie is most proud of her achievements off the track. She heads the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Youth Center Foundation in East St. Louis where neighborhood children are exposed to many activities in and out of their community. She was appointed chairman of the St. Louis Sports Commission, and most recently became a licensed registered agent with the National Football League, while serving as the Chief Executive of Elite International Sports Marketing, Inc.

In 1985, Jacqueline "Jackie" Joyner-Kersee earned the degree Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA). She is married to her long-time coach, Bob Kersee.