Jackie Joyner-Kersee

Jackie Joyner-Kersee

Jackie Joyner
Jackie Joyner-Kersee in 2014
Personal information
Nationality American
Born (1962-03-03) March 3, 1962
East St. Louis, Illinois
Height 178 cm (5 ft 10 in)
Weight 66 kg (146 lb)
Country United States
Sport Athletics
Event(s) Long jump, heptathlon
Club Tiger World Class Athletic Club
West Coast Athletic Club
McDonald's Track Club

Jacqueline "Jackie" Joyner-Kersee (born March 3, 1962) is an American retired track and field 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]

Joyner-Kersee was one of the most famous athletes to overcome severe asthma.[2]


  • Early life 1
    • UCLA 1.1
  • Competition 2
    • 1984 Summer Olympics 2.1
    • 1986 Goodwill Games 2.2
    • 1988 Summer Olympics 2.3
    • 1991 World Championships 2.4
    • 1992 Summer Olympics 2.5
    • 1996 Summer Olympics 2.6
    • Professional Basketball Career 2.7
    • 1998 Goodwill Games 2.8
    • 2000 Olympic Trials 2.9
  • Awards and honors 3
  • Current world records 4
  • Personal bests 5
  • Personal life 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Early life

Jacqueline Joyner was born March 3, 1962, in East St. Louis, Illinois, and was named after Jackie Kennedy. As a high school athlete at East St. Louis Lincoln 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".


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

Preceded by
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
Galina Chistyakova
Preceded by
Sabine John
Women's Heptathlon World Record Holder
July 7, 1986 –
Succeeded by
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Marita Koch
Wang Junxia
Women's Track & Field Athlete of the Year
Succeeded by
Florence Griffith-Joyner
Sonia O'Sullivan
Preceded by
Martina Navratilova
Flo Hyman Memorial Award
Succeeded by
Evelyn Ashford
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Sabine John
Larisa Nikitina
Women's Heptathlon Best Year Performance
Succeeded by
Larisa Nikitina
Heike Drechsler
Preceded by
Heike Drechsler
Women's Long Jump Best Year Performance
Succeeded by
Galina Chistyakova
Heike Drechsler
Lyudmila Galkina
  • Jackie Joyner-Kersee profile at IAAF
  • USA Track and Field bio
  • Jackie Joyner-Kersee's U.S. Olympic Team bio
  • The Jackie Joyner Kersee Foundation, founded by Jackie and her husband.

External links

  1. ^ "USA Track & Field - USATF Board welcomes three new members". Usatf.org. January 23, 2012. Retrieved April 11, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Jackie Joyner-Kersee: Living with Asthma". MedlinePlus the Magazine 6 (3): 9. Fall 2011. 
  3. ^ Hyman, Richard S. (2008) The History of the United State Olympic Trials Track & Field. USA Track & Field
  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, April 25, 2001. UCLA Bruins official Athletic site
  7. ^ a b Jesse Owens Award. usatf.org
  8. ^ St. Louis Walk of Fame. "St. Louis Walk of Fame Inductees". stlouiswalkoffame.org. Retrieved April 25, 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. ^ Jackie Joyner-Kersee. Sports Reference
  12. ^ "Athletes for Hope". Athletes for Hope. Retrieved April 11, 2012. 


[12] 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

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.[11]

Personal life

Personal bests
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

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

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

As of April 2015, 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.

Current world records

Awards and honors

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.

2000 Olympic Trials

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

1998 Goodwill Games

In 1996 Joyner-Kersee 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.

Professional Basketball Career

 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. 21 11 At the Olympic Trials, Joyner-Kersee sustained an injury to her right hamstring. When the

1996 Summer Olympics

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 Germany.

1992 Summer Olympics

Joyner-Kersee 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, 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.

1991 World Championships

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.

1988 Summer Olympics

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.

1986 Goodwill Games

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.

1984 Summer Olympics


She was honored on February 21, 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]