Joyner-Kersee continued to participate in track and field in the 1990s, declaring that she wanted to finish her Olympic career on American soil. She competed in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, despite a right hamstring injury. There, she finished fourth in the long jump competition with a mark of 6.03 meters (19' 9.5").
During her career, Joyner-Kersee had several physical challenges to overcome. At age 17, she was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis, a form of arthritis that causes your bones to fuse together. The disease also caused her tailbone to collapse, requiring surgery to correct it. Later in life, she was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism and Hashimoto's thyroiditis, two diseases that affect how much thyroid hormone is released by the thyroid gland.
In addition to these health issues, Joyner-Kersee had very little body fat. As a young girl, she weighed only 49 pounds (22 kg). To make up for this, she trained hard and ate healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables.
Although she was born in Detroit, Michigan, and raised in Southfield, Michigan, Joyner-Kersee represented the United States at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea.
In 1985, she received her bachelor's degree from UCLA. Joyner-Kersee grew to prominence as a result of her strong achievements on the international stage, when she competed in four separate Olympic Games. In 1988, she became the first woman to win gold medals in both the 100-meter and 200-meter races at one Olympics. She went on to win three more gold medals at those events at the 1992, 1996 and 2000 Games, making her one of only six people to have won multiple gold medals in each of these events.
Besides being an Olympic champion, Joyner-Kersee has also been recognized for other accomplishments in athletics. She is the only person to have won the NCAA Championship in both the 100 meters and the 200 meters. Joyner-Kersee was also named the USA Track and Field Athlete of the Year in 1989 and 1990. She currently holds the world record in the women's 4x100 meter relay with a time of 37.0 seconds. The record has never been broken by another team or individual.
After graduating from college, Joyner-Kersee decided to continue her career in athletics by becoming a track and field coach. She has worked with young athletes at all levels, including children, high school students and collegiate competitors. Her advice can be heard through radio interviews that are conducted before major competitions.
Jacqueline Joyner-Kersee (born March 3, 1962) is a former American track and field athlete who is regarded as one of the all-time greats in the heptathlon and long jump. In those two events, she won three gold, one silver, and two bronze Olympic medals in four separate Olympic Games. She also holds the world record in the heptathlon with 6143 points.
Joyner-Kersee came from a family of athletes: her father, John Arthur Joyner, was an American football player for Miami University and Cincinnati Bengals; her mother, Elouise, was a sprinter for Ohio State University. Her younger brother, John Arthur Jr., became an Olympic hurdler. When Jacqueline was 10 years old, her family moved to Hinesville, Georgia, where she lived until she went to college.
In high school, Joyner-Kersee competed in several sports including basketball, but focused primarily on heptathlon and long jump. She earned All-America honors in both events and led her high school to the state championship in heptathlon. She received a full scholarship to Florida State University, where she continued to compete in heptathlons and long jumps for the Seminoles. During her freshman year, she broke two school records at the NCAA Championships before finishing seventh overall with 6144 points.
Track and field competitions Jackie Joyner-Kersee won six Olympic medals (three gold), started four years on the UCLA women's basketball team, and was voted Sports Illustrated's Greatest Female Athlete of the 20th Century.
Olympic medalists Jackie Joyner-Kersee has six gold medals from 1984 to 1992. The oldest female track and field athlete to ever compete at the Olympics, Joyner-Kersee became the first woman to win three gold medals when she captured the 100-meter, 200-meter, and 4x100-meter relay events in Seoul. She was only 33 years old when she competed in her sixth and last Olympics.
Joyner-Kersee was born on January 4, 1959 in Cincinnati, Ohio. She began competing in sports at an early age and by the time she graduated from high school, she had become one of the country's best short distance runners. In 1978, at the age of 19, Joyner-Kersee made her first of four appearances at the USA Women's National Track & Field Championships, finishing second in the 10,000 meters behind Suzy Favor-Hamilton. Two years later, at the 1980 Moscow Games, Joyner-Kersee finally won a gold medal after a close call in Beijing.
Joyner-Kersee had one of the greatest performances of all time in the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul. Not only did she win gold in the long jump, but she also won gold in the heptathlon, setting a world record in track and field that remained for more than 30 years.