March is National Women’s History Month. To start the celebration of women, I would like to honor and pay tribute to Jackie Joyner-Kersee . Today is also Joyner-Kersee’s 52nd birthday. Joyner-Kersee has won more medals than any other female athlete in Olympic track and field, with three gold medals, a silver, and two bronze. Joyner-Kersee retired at age 38 in 2001. Joyner-Kersee and Babe Didrikson are celebrated as the greatest female athletes of the 20th Century.
One of the reasons why I wanted to celebrate Jackie Joyner-Kersee was her dedication to social justice and paying it forward. After she retired, she established the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Youth Center Foundation — a foundation that provides sports lessons to youth and families to improve quality of life with It is based in her hometown of East St. Louis, Illinois. Joyner-Kersee also helped to establish Athletes for Hope, an organization that encourages other athletes to work toward making a positive difference in the world.
Thank you, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, and Happy Birthday!