Three-time Olympic champion Jackie Joyner-Kersee, selected by Sports Illustrated as the best female athlete of the century, will speak at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 11, in Schoenecker Arena at the University of St. Thomas.
The talk, free and open to the public, is sponsored by St. Thomas’ University Lectures Committee.
A native of East St. Louis, Ill., Joyner-Kersee at age 14 won her first of four consecutive U.S. junior national titles in the pentathlon. After high school, she accepted a basketball scholarship to UCLA and met Bob Kersee, who was her coach and future husband.
She won the silver medal in the grueling heptathlon at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, where her brother, triple jumper Al Joyner, also competed. At the 1988 Olympics in South Korea, she won the gold medal in the heptathlon, setting a world record in the event and in the long jump. She won the long jump again at the 1991 world championships in Japan, and the following year repeated her heptathlon title at the Olympics in Spain. She retired from international competition following the 1998 Goodwill games.
Joyner-Kersee has won numerous athletic honors and awards, including the Jesse Owens Award and the 1986 James E. Sullivan Memorial Award, given annually to the outstanding amateur athlete in the country by the Amateur Athletic Union of the United States. She is the only woman to receive the Man of the Year Award from The Sporting News.
For more information about the lecture, call St. Thomas at (651) 962-6136, or the St. Thomas Events Line at (651) 962-6196.