Jackie Joyner-Kersee is considered one of the greatest athletes of all time. Sports Illustrated for Women voted Jackie Female Athlete of the 20th Century and ESPN named her one of the 50 Greatest Athletes. She received these honors by becoming the first woman to win back-to-back gold medals in the seven disciplined event, heptathlon; the first woman to score 7,000 point in the heptathlon; and the first American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in the long jump, all on her way to winning 6 Olympic Medals in four consecutive Olympic Games. Named after first lady, Jacqueline Kennedy by her grandmother in March of 1962; she must have known that her granddaughter would surely be the first lady in some phase of her life.
From her college days at UCLA to the track ovals across the World, Jackie has traveled many countries astonishing fans, winning medals, and receiving accolades including the Jesse Owens Award and the Prestigious Sullivan Award. Her talents on the track were only overshadowed by her winning personality, infectious smile and ability to capture hearts as one of the most engaging and approachable personalities in track & field.
Off the track, Jackie always determined to give back continues to keep her personal promise to be a contributing citizen of the metropolitan East and St. Louis community. Her world class philanthropic deeds are praised worldwide. She has amazed everyone and disappointed no one, as she works to enhance the lives of children worldwide; champions the cause of asthma awareness; and motivates corporate conference/meeting attendees nationwide with her proven philosophy for being successful while balancing all of life’s obstacles.
In her hometown of East St. Louis, Illinois Jackie realized her vision in 2000 when she proudly opened the JackieJoyner-KerseeCenter. With Jackie’s leadership the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation raised more than $12 million to build a safe haven for young people to come learn, play and contribute back to their community. The JJKCenter provides services to thousands of families and youth in the metropolitan St. Louis area. Offering a variety of educational and recreational activities for youth and adults including; after-school tutoring, youth sports leagues, nutrition and health education, fitness and meals for seniors, as well as other important community related programs. The Center is an integral part of impacting and revitalizing the East St. Louis community and their youth.
Jackie is continuously working to involve more corporations, sponsors and community groups in advancing the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation’s programs and initiatives worldwide.
She is the author of two books: A Kind of Grace and A Woman’s Place Is Everywhere.