Jackie Joyner-Kersee

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Jackie Joyner
Personal information
Full name Jackie Joyner-Kersee
Nationality American
Born (1962-03-03) March 3, 1962 (age 52)
East St. Louis, Illinois
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Weight 70 kg (150 lb)
Sport
Country United States
Sport Athletics
Event(s) Long jump, Heptathlon

Jacqueline "Jackie" Joyner-Kersee (born March 3, 1962) is a retired American athlete, ranked among the all-time greatest athletes in the women's heptathlon as well as in the women's long jump. She won three gold, one silver, and two bronze Olympic medals, in those two events at four different Olympic Games. Sports Illustrated for Women magazine voted Joyner-Kersee the Greatest Female Athlete of the 20th century, just ahead of Babe Didrikson Zaharias.

After retiring as a competitive athlete, Joyner-Kersee has been involved with many philanthropic efforts and has joined the Board of Directors for USA Track & Field (USATF), the national governing body of the sport.[1]

Jackie was one of the most famous athletes to overcome severe asthma.[2]

Early life[edit]

Jacqueline Joyner was born March 3, 1962, in East St. Louis, Illinois, and was named after Jackie Kennedy. Her brother, Al Joyner, is also an Olympic gold medalist. As a high school athlete at East St. Louis Senior High School, she qualified for the finals in the Long Jump at the 1980 Olympic Trials, finishing 8th behind another high schooler, Carol Lewis.[3] She was inspired to compete in multi-disciplinary track & field events after seeing a 1975 made-for-TV movie about Babe Didrikson Zaharias. Interestingly, Didrikson, the trackster, basketball player, and pro golfer, was chosen the "Greatest Female Athlete of the First Half of the 20th Century. Fifteen years later, "Sports Illustrated for Women" magazine voted Joyner-Kersee the greatest female athlete of "all time".

UCLA[edit]

Joyner-Kersee attended college at the University of California at Los Angeles, where she starred in both track & field and in women's basketball from 1980-1985. She was a starter in her forward position for each of her first three seasons (1980–81, 81-82, and 82-83) as well as in her senior (fifth) year, 1984-1985. She had red-shirted during the 1983-1984 academic year to concentrate on the heptathlon for the 1984 Summer Olympics.

She scored 1,167 points during her collegiate career, which places her 19th all time for the Bruins games.[4] The Bruins advanced to the West Regional semi-finals of the 1985 NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Tournament before losing to eventual runner-up Georgia.[4]

She was honored on 21 February 1998 as one of the 15 greatest players in UCLA women's basketball.[5] In April 2001, Joyner-Kersee was voted the "Top Woman Collegiate Athlete of the Past 25 Years." The vote was conducted among the 976 NCAA member schools.[6]

Competition[edit]

1984 Summer Olympics[edit]

Joyner-Kersee competed in the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles and won the silver medal in the heptathlon. She was the favorite heading into the event, but finished 5 points behind Australian Glynis Nunn.

1986 Goodwill Games[edit]

Joyner-Kersee was the first woman to score over 7,000 points in a heptathlon event (during the 1986 Goodwill Games). In 1986, she received the James E. Sullivan Award as the top amateur athlete in the United States.

1988 Summer Olympics[edit]

In the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, Korea, Joyner-Kersee earned gold medals in both the heptathlon and the long jump. At the 1988 Games in Seoul, she set the still-standing heptathlon world record of 7,291 points. The silver and bronze medalists were Sabine John and Anke Vater-Behmer, both of whom were representing East Germany. Five days later, Joyner-Kersee won her second gold medal, leaping to an Olympic record of 7.40 m (24 ft 3 14 in) in the long jump.

1991 World Championships[edit]

She was everyone's favorite to retain both her World titles earned four years earlier in Rome. However her challenge was dramatically halted when, having won the long jump easily with a 7.32 m (24 ft 14 in) jump no one would beat, she slipped on the take off board and careened head first into the pit, luckily avoiding serious injury. She did, however, strain a hamstring, which led to her having to pull out of the heptathlon during the 200 m at the end of the first day.

1992 Summer Olympics[edit]

In the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, Joyner-Kersee earned her second Olympic gold medal in the heptathlon. She also won the bronze medal in the long jump which was won by her friend Heike Drechsler of Japan.

1996 Summer Olympics[edit]

At the Olympic Trials, Joyner-Kersee sustained an injury to her right hamstring. When the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia began, Joyner-Kersee was not fully recovered by the time the heptathlon started. After running the first event, the 100 m hurdles, the pain was unbearable and she withdrew. She was able to recover well enough to compete in the long jump and qualify for the final, but was in sixth place in the final with one jump remaining. Her final jump of 7.00 m (22 ft 11 12 in) was long enough for her to win the bronze medal. The Atlanta Olympics would be the last Olympics of Joyner-Kersee's long competitive career.

Professional Basketball Career[edit]

In 1996 she signed on to play pro basketball for the Richmond Rage of the fledgling American Basketball League. Although she was very popular with the fans, she was less successful on the court. She appeared in only 17 games, and scored no more than four points in any game.

1998 Goodwill Games[edit]

Returning to track, Joyner-Kersee won the heptathlon again at the 1998 Goodwill Games, scoring 6,502 points.

2000 Olympic Trials[edit]

Joyner-Kersee made her final bow in track & field competition in 2000. She was sixth in the long jump (21-10.75) at the Olympic Trials.

Awards and honors[edit]

Current world records[edit]

As of May 2012, Joyner-Kersee holds the world record in heptathlon along with the top six all time best results whilst her long jump record of 7.49 m is second on the long jump all time list. In addition to heptathlon and long jump, she was a world class athlete in 100 m hurdles and 200 meters being as of June 2006 in top 60 all time in those events.

Sports Illustrated voted her the greatest female athlete of the 20th century.

Joyner-Kersee has consistently maintained that she has competed throughout her career without performance-enhancing drugs.[9][10]

Personal bests[edit]

Performances table during the world record in 1988
Event Performance Wind Points Notes
100 metres hurdles 12.69 s +0.5 m/s 1172
Long jump 7.27 m +0.7 m/s 1264 Heptathlon Best; highest score for a single event
High jump 1.86 m 1054
200 m 22.56 s +1.6 m/s 1123
Shot put 15.80 m 915
Javelin throw 45.66 m 776
800 m 2 min 8.51 s 987 PB
Total 7291 WR
Personal bests 

Personal life[edit]

Jackie's brother is the Olympic champion triple jumper Al Joyner, who was married to another Olympic track champion, the late Florence Griffith-Joyner. Jackie married her track coach, Bob Kersee, in 1986.

In 1988, Joyner-Kersee established the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation, which provides youth, adults, and families with athletic lessons and the resources to improve their quality of life with special attention directed to East St. Louis, Illinois. In 2007, Jackie Joyner-Kersee along with Andre Agassi, Muhammad Ali, Lance Armstrong, Warrick Dunn, Mia Hamm, Jeff Gordon, Tony Hawk, Andrea Jaeger, Mario Lemieux, Alonzo Mourning, and Cal Ripken, Jr. founded Athletes for Hope, a charitable organization, which helps professional athletes get involved in charitable causes and inspires millions of non-athletes to volunteer and support the community.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "USA Track & Field - USATF Board welcomes three new members". Usatf.org. 2012-01-23. Retrieved 2012-04-11. 
  2. ^ http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/magazine/issues/fall11/articles/fall11pg9.html
  3. ^ http://www.usatf.org/statistics/champions/OlympicTrials/HistoryOfTheOlympicTrials.pdf
  4. ^ a b Usc Women's Basketball 2009-2010 Media guide - Copy available at UCLABRUINS.COM
  5. ^ UCLA Women's Basketball 2006-2007 Media guide - Copy available at UCLABRUINS.COM
  6. ^ Jackie Joyner-Kersee Is Named The 'Top Woman Collegiate Athlete Of The Past 25 Years, 25 April 2001. UCLA Bruins official Athletic site
  7. ^ a b [1][dead link]
  8. ^ St. Louis Walk of Fame. "St. Louis Walk of Fame Inductees". stlouiswalkoffame.org. Retrieved 25 April 2013. 
  9. ^ Kersee, Jackie Joyner By LaTasha Chaffin Graduate Student, Grand Valley State University.
  10. ^ Joyner-Kersee, Jackie, and Sonja Steptoe. A Kind of Grace . New York: Warner Brothers Books, 1997. ISBN 0-446-52248-1.
  11. ^ "Athletes for Hope". Athletes for Hope. Retrieved 2012-04-11. 

External links[edit]

Records
Preceded by
East Germany Heike Drechsler
Women's Long Jump World Record Holder
equalled the 7.45 mark by Heike Drechsler

August 13, 1987 — June 11, 1988
Succeeded by
Soviet Union Galina Chistyakova
Preceded by
East Germany Sabine John
Women's Heptathlon World Record Holder
July 7, 1986 –
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
East Germany Marita Koch
Women's Track & Field Athlete of the Year
1986 – 1987
Succeeded by
United States Florence Griffith-Joyner
Preceded by
United States Martina Navratilova
Flo Hyman Memorial Award
1988
Succeeded by
United States Evelyn Ashford
Preceded by
China Wang Junxia
Women's Track & Field Athlete of the Year
1994
Succeeded by
Republic of Ireland Sonia O'Sullivan
Sporting positions
Preceded by
East Germany Sabine John
Women's Heptathlon Best Year Performance
1984 — 1988
Succeeded by
Soviet Union Larisa Nikitina
Preceded by
Soviet Union Larisa Nikitina
Women's Heptathlon Best Year Performance
1990 — 1993
Succeeded by
Germany Heike Drechsler
Preceded by
East Germany Heike Drechsler
Women's Long Jump Best Year Performance
1987
Succeeded by
Soviet Union Galina Chistyakova
Preceded by
Germany Heike Drechsler
Women's Long Jump Best Year Performance
1994
Succeeded by
Germany Heike Drechsler
Preceded by
Germany Heike Drechsler
Women's Long Jump Best Year Performance
1996
Succeeded by
Russia Lyudmila Galkina