Jackie Joyner Kersee First Woman On The Cover Of Sports Illustrated

March 2, 2012 by staff 

Jackie Joyner Kersee First Woman On The Cover Of Sports Illustrated, Jacqueline “Jackie” Joyner-Kersee (born March 3, 1962) is a retired American athlete, ranked among the all-time greatest athletes in the women’s heptathlon as well as in the women’s long jump. She won three gold, one silver, and two bronze Olympic medals, in those four different events. Sports Illustrated for Women magazine voted Joyner-Kersee the Greatest Female Athlete of the 20th century, just ahead of Babe Didrikson Zaharias.

After retiring as a competitive athlete, Joyner-Kersee has been involved with many philanthropic efforts and has joined the Board of Directors for USA Track & Field (USATF), the national governing body of the sport.

Jacqueline Joyner was born March 3, 1962, in East St. Louis, Illinois, and was named after Jackie Kennedy. As a high school athlete at East St. Louis Lincoln High School, she qualified for the finals in the Long Jump at the 1980 Olympic Trials, finishing 8th behind another high schooler, Carol Lewis. She was inspired to compete in multi-disciplinary track & field events after seeing a 1975 made-for-TV movie about Babe Didrikson Zaharias. Interestingly, Didrikson, the trackster, basketball player, and pro golfer, was chosen the “Greatest Female Athlete of the First Half of the 20th Century. Fifteen years later, “Sports Illustrated for Women” magazine voted Joyner-Kersee the greatest female athlete of “all time”.

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