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4-time Olympian to speak at K-State

By The Mercury

One of the greats is speaking at K-State on Thursday.

Jackie Joyner-Kersee, a four-time track and field Olympian, will speak at 10:30a.m. Thursday at the K-State Union Grand Ballroom in celebration of Women’s History Month.

In the Olympics, Joyner-Kersee won the silver medal in the heptathlon in 1984, gold in the heptathlon
and long jump in 1988, gold in the heptathlon in 1992, and bronze in the long jump in 1992 and 1996.

She is considered a boundary breaker both in terms of race and gender. Joyner-Kersee was the first African- American woman to win an Olympic medal in the long jump and the first woman to win back-to-back gold medals in the heptathlon. She still holds the world record in heptathlon, which she set at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

Sports Illustrated named Joyner-Kersee the “greatest female athlete of the 20th century.”

“We’re thrilled to bring track and field legend Jackie Joyner-Kersee to K-State,” said Angela Hubler, interim head of the gender, women, and sexuality studies department, which sponsors the lecture. “A health advocate and humanitarian, Joyner-Kersee shares her life story and work with audiences around the country in inspirational keynotes.” After her retirement from track and field, Joyner-Kersee established the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation to provide sports
opportunities and to improve children’s quality of life, especially in East St. Louis, her hometown.

In 2012, Joyner-Ker see joined the board of directors of USA Track and Field. She advocates on behalf of racial equality, women’s rights, children’s education, health and social reform.

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