Jackie Joyner-Kersee
Team USATrack and Field

Jackie Joyner-Kersee

Four-time Olympian (1984, 1988, 1992, 1996); six-time Olympic medalist (3 golds, 1 silver, 2 bronzes) Los Angeles 1984, silver (heptathlon) Seoul 1988, gold (long jump, heptathlon) Barcelona 1992, gold (heptathlon), bronze (long jump) Atlanta 1996, bronze (long jump)

    • 3


    • 1


    • 2


    news from athlete's sport

    Athlete Bio

    Jackie Joyner-Kersee


    East St. Louis, IL


    Lincoln Senior High School (East St. Louis, Ill.) UCLA

    Daughter of Mary and Alfred Joyner...One of four children...Won the National Junior Pentathlon championships four times during her teenage years...Attended Lincoln Senior High School where she received honors in track, basketball and volleyball...Won the USA Track & Field’s Jesse Owens Award in 1986 and 1987...Named the Greatest Female Athlete of the 20th Century by Sports Illustrated...Inducted into the National Track & Field Hall of Fame...Created the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Youth Center Foundation and helped establish Athletes for Hope...Served on the board of USA Track & Field.

    Named the Greatest Female Athlete of the 20th Century by Sports Illustrated, four-time Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kersee was the first woman to win back-to-back Olympic gold medals in the heptathlon, the first African American woman to win an Olympic medal in the long jump and the first athlete to score more than 7,000 points in the heptathlon. Born in East St. Louis, Illinois, Joyner-Kersee played a number of sports in high school and earned a basketball scholarship to UCLA, where she met her coach and future husband, Bob Kersee. She won the silver medal in the heptathlon at the Olympic Games Los Angeles 1984, and became the first woman to score over 7,000 points in the heptathlon when she accomplished the feat at the 1986 Goodwill Games. Joyner-Kersee won gold medals in the heptathlon and the long jump in her second Games, and earned a total of six medals throughout her Olympic career. She retired after the Atlanta 1996 Games and briefly played professional women’s basketball in the American Basketball League. Following her athletic career, Joyner-Kersee advocated for racial equality and social reform as a philanthropist and public speaker. She also founded the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation in 1988 to provide communities with more access to academics and athletics.
    Team USA logo

    Follow Us


    United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee
    • Accessibility
    • Finance , opens in a new tab
    • Governance , opens in a new tab
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Site Map

    © 2023 United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee. All Rights Reserved.