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Jackie Joyner-Kersee Speaks

Sports Illustrated for Women voted her ‘Female Athlete of the 20th Century’ and ESPN named her one of the greatest athletes ever. Jackie Joyner-Kersee competed in four consecutive Olympic games and won six medals. She visited Columbia Tuesday afternoon to show her support for women in sports.Kersee was the guest of honor for Women’s Intersport Network for Columbia. The group hosted its 16th Annual Awards Luncheon at Columbia College. Raised in East Saint Louis, Illinois, Kersee told stories of her youth and how she overcame adversity to achieve her goals.Kersee told the crowd that she deems herself blessed for all that she has achieved and all the help from her mentors. Now she wants to give back to others. Kersee mentors youth, looks forward to coaching young girls in basketball and opened a community center in her hometown.Kersee is the first woman to win back-to-back gold medals and score 7,000 points in the 7-event, heptathlon. She was also the first American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in the long jump and continues to hold the world record in the heptathalon from the 1988 Olympic games.

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