Jackie Joyner-Kersee

Greatest multi athlete man or women

Early Years

Have you ever heard about Jackie Joyner-kersee? If not you came to the right place. Jackie Joyner-kersee was born on March 3, 1962 in East St. Louis, Illinois. Her real name was Jacqueline her parents, Mary and Alfred Kersee had three kids in all 1 brother,2 sister. The kids grew up in very dangerous area. But that didn’t stop her from being successful in life. Her grandma said “ One day this little girl will be the first lady of something”. When she was little Jackie’s grandfather was drunk and shot her grandma with a shotgun in her sleep. That was very hard for Jackie to handle at such a young age. Near Jackie’s home was a community center called Mary E. Brown. This is where she realized she liked sports.The community center was the safest place in the neighborhood. Jackie was nine years old when she competed in a track and field competition. She lost, but she wanted to do it again. At age 14 she won her first pentathlon medal . At this age she realized that she wanted to go to the Olympics when she grew up. When Jackie was little she did lots of sports for example Basketball, Volleyball but her favorite was the Long jump. Jackie was the top 10th smartest kids out of 350 in High school. She earned a basketball scholarship to UCLA after High school. As soon as Jackie arrived at college her mother Mary was struck with Meningitis. Jackie arrived at the hospital soon as she could. Her mom was in a Coma and Brain dead when she arrived. Her mom was on life support and her dad couldn’t make decision to take her off or not, so Jackie had to make the decision ,choose to take her mom off life support. Mary kersee was only 37 years old when she died. Jackie was in a very dark place after her mother’s death. Then in 1983 she found out that she had Asthma. But Jackie wasn’t going to give up. When she arrived back at the the college her coach Bob supported her a lot. He understood because, his mom had died to when he was young too. In 1986 Jackie broke her own personal record of 7,000 points in the heptathlon. A month later she broke the heptathlon record of 7,148 points. Bob purposed to Jackie at the Astrodome when she broke her record their. He said “ I decided to try a fastball on her”.” I would like to marry you”. Jackie thought this over for a day. Then, she said “ Yes”. Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Bob Kersee got married Jan 11, 1986 on Long beach, just as Jackie imagined it.

Awards More Medals

Jackie is known for her medals and achievements. One of her many records was that she was the first women in the Olympics to earn 7,291 points in the heptathlon in 1988. Still to this day, right now, no one has broken that record! She tied a world record of 24ft 5 ½ in the Pan Games. She set a record of 24ft 3 ½ 7.40 meters in 1988 in the Olympics. Also, she is the first women ever to win 2 gold medals in a row in 1992. She also won a bronze medal that same year. She was the only 34 year old she set that record. One of her achievements is that she got a honorary doctor's degree from the University of Missouri. Bruce Jenner a fellow Olympian said “ She is the greatest multi event athlete ever man or women”. Sadly Jackie retired in 2000 from track and field. In 2000 Jackie launched a campaign for kids who didn’t have a education. To Jackie’s family, education was very important. The Jackie Joyner- kersee foun work. foundation has raised over 12 million dollars for a campus that opened in 2000.

Jackie Joyner-Kersee - 1988 Olympic Heptathlon

Lasting Legacy

Jackie’s personality is amazing throughout her life has been. She’s energetic because she got a basketball scholarship to UCLA. And she made a foundation that took a lot of work. She was also a very generous to launch her campaign and care for others in need by providing of a better education even if it wasn’t for her. Another trait of Jackie was she was determined to do anything. When Jackie was a kid she said,” I’ll make sure I’ll have a better life when I grew up.” And even with her her hardships of her mother and grandmother she pushed through it even when she was in a dark place. I picked Jackie Joyner-kersee as my favorite Missourian because, of her personality and the more I admire how hard she worked to follow her dreams.