Six-time Olympic medalist and international track and field legend Jackie Joyner-Kersee will visit Northern Illinois University on Oct. 16 and 17, where she will speak to a variety of groups throughout the campus and community.
NIU Athletics will host “A Morning with Jackie Joyner-Kersee,” a breakfast event open to the public, at 9 a.m. Oct. 17 in the NIU Convocation Center. Tickets cost $25 each and are available by phone at 815-753-7225 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Groups can reserve a table of eight for $300 (bronze level), $350 (silver level) or $400 (gold level). All proceeds will benefit the NIU Women’s Track & Field and Cross Country program.
In addition, the four-time Olympian will speak to the Huskie track and field and cross country teams, other NIU student-athletes and women’s student groups during her time in DeKalb. A separate event for the NIU campus community will be held Oct. 16. At each event, Joyner-Kersee will share the inspirational success story and message of perseverance that led her to be named the Greatest Female Athlete of the 20th Century by Sports Illustrated.
A native of East St. Louis, Ill., Joyner-Kersee has had a long and storied career. After finishing eighth in the long jump as a high schooler at the 1980 US Olympic Trials, she burst onto the international stage at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles by winning the silver medal in the heptathlon. Two years later, she became the first woman to score 7,000 points in the heptathlon. In 1988, she took the gold medal in the heptathlon – where she set a still-standing world record of 7,291 points – and long jump at the Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea.
Joyner-Kersee successfully defended her Olympic heptathlon title at the 1992 Barcelona Games and won a bronze medal in the long jump. She finished her Olympic career in the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta with a bronze medal in the long jump.
Along with holding the world record in the heptathlon, she also holds the next five best scores in the event and ranks second all-time in the long jump. In 2012, Joyner-Kersee was inducted into the IAAF Hall of Fame.