Jackie Joyner Kersee is ranked among the all-time greatest and most accomplished athletes in the world of track and field. Her specialty was the women’s heptathlon as well as the women’s long jump. Joyner won three gold medals, one silver and two bronze in four different Olympic Games.
She was voted by Sports Illustrated for Women magazine as the greatest female athlete of the 20th century.
Joyner Kersee was born in East St. Louis and attended college at UCLA, where she was a top performer in track and field as well as women’s basketball. She competed in the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, Korea, as well as the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain, and the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.
Since retiring from competitive sports, Joyner has been involved in a number of philanthropic activities. She also joined the board of directors of USA Track & Field, the national governing body of that sport.
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(Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images for the USOC)
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