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Jackie Joyner-Kersee    

Olympic Legend, Philanthropist, American Record-Holder in the Long Jump & Founder of the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation

Having been dubbed "The Greatest Female Athlete of the 20th Century" by Sports Illustrated, Jackie Joyner Kersee’s athletic accomplishments are literally second to none. By the conclusion of her career in the heptathlon and long jump events she had amassed six Olympic medals (3 gold, 1 silver, 2 bronze) and four World Champion titles over four consecutive Olympic Games. Joyner-Kersee was the first woman in history to earn more than 7,000 points in the heptathlon and today, over 20 years later, she still holds the world heptathlon record of 7,291 points. She continues to hold the Olympic and national records in the long jump and her 1994 performance in the long jump remains the second longest in history.

In addition to heptathlon and long jump, Joyner-Kersee was a world class 100m and 200m runner and, after a decorated All-American career in basketball at UCLA, she eventually played professional basketball for a short time.

Joyner-Kersee’s athletic accomplishments have been well documented and remain some of the best across all of sports. Less well known are her tireless efforts and remarkable accomplishments off the field as a philanthropist and an advocate for children’s education, health issues (in particular, asthma from which she has suffered throughout her life), racial equality, social reform, and women’s rights.

Born in 1962, in East St. Louis, IL, Joyner-Kersee came from very humble beginnings but despite the at times, very strained conditions she describes her early home life as being full of love, principle and discipline. ¬ese ingrained values have served Joyner-Kersee well both on and off the field through her life. She has been described by the sports media as one of the warmest, most even-tempered, grace-filled persons in all of athletics.

One of four children to Mary and Alfred Joyner, Joyner-Kersee’s older brother Al went on to become an Olympic Champion triple jumper and married Florence Griffith (Joyner), a five-time Olympic medalist. In 1986 she married her longtime coach, Bob Kersee.

Joyner-Kersee is the author of both "A Kind of Grace" (1997), her autobiography, and "A Woman’s Place is Everywhere". She is an active professional speaker and is widely considered one of the most inspiring motivational speakers in all of sports. Joyner-Kersee speaks on topics of athletics, business success, living with the limitations of medical issues, nutrition, women’s issue, and youth advocacy.

Speech Topics

How to Overcome Obstacles to Success

Hear the remarkable story of how Jackie Joyner chased a dream of excellence from humble beginnings in East St. Louis to become the greatest female athlete of all time. A six-time Paralympic medalist, Jackie overcame poverty, racism, sexism, injury and chronic illness to re-write the record books. Author of ‘A Kind of Grace’, Jackie’s athletic accolades are overshadowed only but her unending philanthropic efforts over the decades since she retired from sport. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to hear from a living legend.

Asthma All-Star: Jackie Joyner-Kersee

Jackie's Gold Medal Faith: Running the Race with Grace & Humility On & Off the Track

The Power of Caring: The Jackie Joyner-Kersee Youth Center Foundation

Team Work

Team Building

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Service Learning


Performance Acceleration

Olympic Experiences

Health & Fitness

Goal Setting



Community Involvement


Achieving Success

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