Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Olympic Track and Field Athlete
Jackie overcame severe asthma as a child to become ranked among the greatest athletes of all time in heptathlon and long jump. Sports Illustrated for Women has voted her the Greatest Female Athlete of All-Time. She is the winner of three gold, one silver, and two bronze medals across four Olympic games. In the 1986 Goodwill Games she was the first woman ever to score 7,000 points in a heptathlon event, and in the 1998 Summer Olympics she became both the first American woman to earn a gold in long jump and the first to earn a gold in heptathlon.
"I was always into athletics, but I really wasn't really good in track when - because I started running at the age of nine. And my first race, I finished last. It was the 400 meters, and so I remember saying to myself the next time out, if I can improve a 10th of a second if I was running, then that meant I was getting better. But sometimes the places remained the same. I was like, OK, I'm in eighth place, seventh place. I'm slowly moving up."
"When I was 14, I saw the '76 Olympic games on television, and I remember going to my coaches, and I asked them did they think that I could make the Olympics because that's my dream. I wanted to go to the Olympics because I saw women at that time doing what I was trying to do."
NPR, Photograph Via The Daily Dose