Olympic Long Jumper
Born March 3, 1962
Jackie Joyner-Kersee is known as the first American long jumper to win Olympic gold in that event and the first woman to earn more than 7,000 points in the 7-event Olympic heptathlon. She still holds the world record in that event, and also in the long jump.
Her Olympic career spanned from 1984-1996 when her career came to an end with a bronze medal in the long jump at the Summer Olympics. Due to an injury to her lower body, she was unable to perform in the heptathlon that year.
By many, Joyner-Kersee is considered one of the greatest female athletes in history.
Following her Olympic career, Joyner-Kersee went on to become an advocate for children, founding the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Youth Center Foundation in 2001. The foundation’s goal is encouraging youth to participate in sports. Also, Joyner-Kersee’s philanthropic efforts were extended in 2007 when her, Andre Agassi, Muhammad Ali, and Mia Hamm established Athletes for Hope which has the purpose of encouraging athletes to “make a difference in the world.
Joyner-Kersee gives credit to God for all of her success over the years.
“Well, God, there’s no way I could have accomplished all the things I have been blessed to do because I know it wasn’t just me. And still today, He leads my life.”
Alex Brasky is the creator of local sports website www.bataviasbest.org.