Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church

Circle of Care Gold medalist to help mark golden moment


In April 29, four-time Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kersee will headline the Circle of Care’s Friends of Children Banquet, as the United Methodist agency marks a year that’s pure gold.

The event, a highlight during Circle of Care’s 100th year of service, will be at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.

Joyner-Kersee dominated the women’s track and field circuit for 16 years. She holds six Olympic medals and the world record for heptathlon.

At the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, she won silver in the heptathlon. At the 1988 Games in Korea, she struck gold in the heptathlon and long jump. She followed that in 1992 in Spain by winning gold again in the heptathlon and bronze in the long jump. In 1996 in Atlanta, she won the bronze medal in long jump.

She also holds four gold medals from three World Championships.

Joyner-Kersee twice received the Jesse Owens Award. In 2004, she was inducted into the U.S. Track and Field Hall of Fame.

Sports Illustrated for Women magazine named her the Greatest Female Athlete of the 20th Century.

She also is known for her efforts outside the athletic arena. She is the inaugural recipient of the Humanitarian Athlete of the Year.

She is among the founders of the national Athletes for Hope charity; helped establish a youth center foundation in her hometown, East St. Louis, Ill.; and promotes My Plate for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

She also joined forces with the 77-year-old Farm Foundation to address the availability of healthy foods in challenged communities throughout the nation.

She is married to track-and-field coach Bobby Kersee.

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