Joyner-Kersee has been a heptathlon great since 1984, when she earned a silver medal after finishing second in the 800-meter run. Jacqueline Joyner was born on March 3, 1962, in East St. Louis, Illinois, to Alfred (a railroad employee) and Mary (a nurse's aide) Joyner; she married Bob Kersee (a track and field coach) on January 11, 1986. She has two children with her husband: a daughter, Alexis, and a son, Robert Jr.
Jacqueline Joyner-Kersee won the gold medal at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, Russia, by scoring 8190 points. Her winning time was 4 hours, 15 minutes, 50 seconds. At the 2004 Athens Games, she again won the gold medal, this time with an average score of 7409. She broke her own world record twice during the competition.
Joyner-Kersee also holds the American record for the heptathlon (7396 points). She broke it herself in 1991 and 1995.
After graduating from high school in 1981, Joyner-Kersee attended Columbia University in New York City, where she played women's basketball. She graduated in 1985 with a bachelor's degree in physical education. After college, she went to France for three months to learn French before turning professional. She joined the Chicago Tribune as a staff writer and covered such events as the 1987 World Championships in Athletics, the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games, and the 1989 Universiade in Rome, Italy.
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 6163 points.
Joyner-Kersee came from a family of athletes: her father, John Arthur Joyner, was an international level sprinter who competed for the United States during the 1950s; her mother, Rosalind "Rosi" Kersee, was a tennis player who won the U.S. National Championships in doubles twice; and her brother, John Arthur Jr., was a soccer player who played professionally for several years after retiring from athletics.
Joyner-Kersee began competing in sports at a very young age. When she was only nine years old, she became the youngest ever individual champion in the heptathlon when she took first place at the 1978 AAU Junior Olympics. A year later, at the 1979 World Championships in Athletics, she improved upon this title by becoming the youngest ever winner of the heptathlon. At the 1980 Moscow Olympics, Joyner-Kersee captured three gold medals: heptathlon, long jump, and 4x100 meter relay. This made her the first person to win multiple gold medals in a single Olympics.
Biography Jackie Joyner-Kersee has six Olympic medals to her name. She was selected the Greatest Female Athlete of the 20th Century by Sports Illustrated. Her accomplishments include three Olympic gold medals, four World Outdoor Championship gold medals, and the still-standing world record in the women's heptathlon of 7,291 points.
Joyner-Kersee became one of the first African American female athletes to be widely recognized for their achievements in sports when they were not allowed to play most sports because of their gender. She started competing in sports at a very young age and eventually became one of the best track and field athletes in the world. During her career, she broke several national records and earned multiple medals at the Olympics and World Championships.
After retiring from competitions, Joyner-Kersee turned her attention to helping other young people learn about fitness and health through speaking engagements and writing articles for magazines. She also launched a successful athletic wear line called JJK Athletics that is sold across the United States.
She continues to make appearances at sports events all over the world and has become one of the most recognizable figures in athletics due to her success on the track and field field.
With such extraordinary accomplishments, it isn't hard to see why Sports Illustrated named Joyner-Kersee as its favorite athlete of the 20th century. She has shown that with hard work and dedication, anyone can succeed regardless of their gender or race.
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.
The long jump, 100-meter hurdles, 200-meter run, and high jump were Joyner-greatest Kersee's heptathlon events. She frequently participated in single events, notably the long jump, where she tied the world record (7.45 metres [24 feet 5.5 inches]) in 1987, won gold in 1988, and bronze in 1992. At the World Championships, she finished fourth in 1986, fifth in 1990, and won a silver medal in 1994.
Kersee competed in seven Olympics from 1984 to 2004, always finishing among the top three in the heptathlon. Her best result was second place in Atlanta in 1996. In 2005, she became only the third woman after Shirley Strickland and Marisol Luis Gonzalez to win the Olympic gold medal in the heptathlon. With her victory, she also became only the second American athlete to win multiple gold medals at a single edition of the Games after Carl Lewis.
During her career, Joyner Kersee set eight world records, four American records, and earned $1,845,000 in prize money. She is the most successful female heptathlete of all time and one of the most successful athletes of Kenya in general. After retiring from competitions, she switched to athletics management and marketing, becoming an influential figure in the sport. She is currently the director of sports for United States Track & Field.
She established the still-standing heptathlon world record of 7,291 points in the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Sabine John and Anke Vater-Behmer, both representing East Germany, won silver and bronze medals. Joyner-Kersee won her second gold medal five days later, leaping to an Olympic record of 7.40 m (24 ft 3 1/4 in) in the long jump. The record would last for six years before it was finally beaten by Maria Mutanen of Finland.
Joyner-Kersee's world record stood for more than ten years before Mariya Yartseva of Russia broke it with a heptathlon score of 7,527 at the 1996 Atlanta Games.
Since then it is Joyner-Kersee who has held the record, winning two more gold medals at the 1992 Barcelona Games and 2004 Athens Games. Her overall victory in these events has been recognized by many sports organizations. She has been awarded the William E. Simon Award by the USATF and the James E. Sullivan Award by the New York Athletic Club. In 2009, she was elected into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame. She is now ranked number three all-time behind Esther Dyson and Wyomia Tyus.
During her career, Joyner-Kersee won four gold medals at the World Championships, three golds at the European Championships, and one bronze at the Pan American Games. She ended up with thirteen World Championship medals, which is currently the highest total among heptathletes.