May 22, 2001
Jackie Joyner-Kersee, winner of six Olympic medals during her illustrious track and field career, has been named the 2001 Edward A. Dickson UCLA Alumnus of the Year. She accepted her award this past Saturday evening at an on-campus black-tie dinner.
Joyner-Kersee, a member of the class of 1986, was recently selected the "Top Woman Collegiate Athlete of the Past 25 Years" in a vote conducted among the 976 NCAA member schools.
Throughout her collegiate career, Joyner-Kersee was the dominant U.S. performer in both the heptathlon and long jump. She was the NCAA heptathlon champion in 1982 and 1983. In the long jump, she placed second in the NCAA in 1982 and third in 1983. She also was a member of the 1600-meter and 400-meter relay teams and competed in the 100-meter hurdles event. Thanks to her efforts, UCLA won the NCAA team title in both 1982 and 1983.
In addition to her achievements in track and field, Joyner-Kersee was a four-year starter on the UCLA women's basketball team, playing from 1980-83 and 1984-85. She played a total of 121 games, scoring an impressive 1,167 points and grabbing 752 total rebounds.
During her post-UCLA track and field career, she won a total of six Olympic medals, including three gold medals and dominated the competition in the heptathlon and long jump. In 1992, she won the Olympic gold medal in the heptathlon and in 1988, she won the gold medal in the heptathlon and long jump. She is the world record holder in the heptathlon (7,291 points) and the U.S. record holder in the long jump (24-7).
She has also been a role model off the field of competition, establishing the Jackie Joyner-Kersee foundation in her hometown of East St. Louis, IL.