July 13, 2000
LOS ANGELES - Jackie Joyner Kersee, the world's finest female athlete in the history of Olympic track and field competition, has come out of retirement and is scheduled to compete in the long jump at the USA T & F Trials, held July 14-23 in Sacramento.
Looking to make her third U. S. Olympic team over a span of three decades, Joyner will try to make the squad in the long jump (she holds the American record, 24-7). The women's long jump final is set for Sunday, July 16 at noon. The competition takes place at Hornet Stadium on the CS Sacramento campus. The top three finishers who have met the Olympic qualifying standards for the 20 men's and 19 women?s events will earn a spot on the U. S. Olympic team.
JJK retired from competition following the 1998 heptathlon at the Goodwill Games (she placed first in the event). She won her sixth Olympic medal at the Summer Games in Atlanta in 1996. Unable to finish the heptathlon at the ?96 Games because of a hamstring injury, JJK rallied to capture the bronze medal in the long jump.
The world-record holder in the heptathlon (7,291 points), JJK's six Olympic medals, including three golds, are the highest total ever won by a U. S. woman. (Bruin alumnae Florence Griffith Joyner and Evelyn Ashford are second with five).
JJK was inducted into the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame in 1996. In Dec. 1999, she was named by the Associated Press as the Summer Olympian of the Century. While at UCLA, JJK won two NCAA heptathlon titles (1982-83) and helped lead the Bruin women to NCAA Outdoor championships in 1982 and ?83.