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)
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.