Jackie Joyner-Kersee (1962-present) - olympic athlete | philanthropist

Unknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons



Jackie Joyner-Kersee is a legendary track and field athlete with three gold, one silver and two bronze medals from four different Olympics. She won back-to-back gold medals in the heptathlon, and her world heptathlon record has remained unbroken for over 30 years. The first black woman to win an Olympic medal in the long jump, she still holds the Olympic record in that event. Joyner-Kersee was voted the Female Athlete of the 20th Century by Sports Illustrated for Women and one of the 50 Great Athletes of All Time by ESPN. She founded the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation to encourage young people in East St. Louis to succeed in athletics, academics and leadership. Her philanthropy also includes racial equality and women's rights. 


"There are many women who came before me who didn't really have the same opportunities that I have had. That's why I always wanted to be a great ambassador - not only today's generation - but for the women who really didn't have a voice, but who paved the way for me."

"The person who talks a lot or talks over people misses out because they weren't listening." 

 "It is better to look ahead and prepare, than to look back and regret." 


Joyner-Kersee, & Steptoe, S. (1997). A Kind of Grace: The Autobiography of the World’s Greatest Female Athlete. 

Rambeck, R. (1996). Jackie Joyner-Kersee. (biography for kids)

Women Who Walked on Water

Joy Zimmerman

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Women Who Walked on Water (3:21) – mid-tempo with soulful vocals, rhythmic guitars, and lilting fiddle. A song of tribute to seventeen courageous women who changed the world.

Music & Lyrics by Joy Zimmerman

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