Oct. 1, 2013
DeKALB, Ill. – Six-time Olympic medalist and international track & field legend Jackie Joyner-Kersee will visit Northern Illinois University on Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 16-17, where she will speak to a variety of groups throughout the campus and community, NIU Director of Track & Field/Cross Country Connie Teaberry announced Tuesday.
NIU Athletics will host “A Morning with Jackie Joyner-Kersee,” a breakfast event open to the public, at 9 a.m. in the NIU Convocation Center, on Thursday, Oct. 17.
Tickets to the event are available now by calling 815-753-PACK (7225) during regular business hours or by emailing Amy Schmidt (firstname.lastname@example.org). Individual tickets are $25, while groups can reserve tables of eight for $300 (bronze level), $350 (silver level) or $400 (gold level). All proceeds from the Thursday morning breakfast will benefit the NIU Women’s Track & Field and Cross Country program.
In addition, the four-time Olympian will speak to the Huskie track & field and cross country teams, other NIU student-athletes and women’s student groups during her time in DeKalb. A separate event open to the NIU campus community will be held Oct. 16. During each event, Joyner-Kersee will share her inspirational success story and message of perseverance that led her to be named the Greatest Female Athlete of the 20th Century by Sports Illustrated.
Teaberry, who shares a St. Louis-area background and Olympic experience with Joyner-Kersee, is thrilled to bring a track & field legend to DeKalb.
"I am honored that Jackie Joyner-Kersee will be on Northern Illinois University's campus October 16th and 17th,” Teaberry said. “I have had the privilege of being a volunteer at a couple of her charitable community events and to hear one of the greatest female athletes speak is powerful. The community will be in awe of her success, struggles, perseverance and kind heart. Jackie was the driving force in my mindset of what a collegiate student-athlete and professional athlete represents. As a coach, the many lessons I've learned from listening, and watching Jackie has helped shape the coach I am today. She is a true role model for all."
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, then followed that up by taking the gold medal in the heptathlon – where she set a still-standing world record of 7,291 points – and long jump at the 1988 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.