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February 14, 1997 - Issue Index

Olympian Joyner-Kersee to appear at Jorgensen
(February 14, 1997)

Three-time Olympic gold medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee will lecture at Jorgensen Auditorium February 19 in celebration of Black History Month.

Joyner-Kersee will speak at 7 p.m. in a talk sponsored by the Student Union Board of Governors, the H. Fred Simons African American Cultural Center, the Division of Athletics and Jorgensen Auditorium.

"Jackie Joyner-Kersee grew up in an inner city and who despite enormous odds became a world-class athlete," said Willena Price, director of the African American Cultural Center. "She gives young African Americans a lot of hope, those young people who are struggling even now in their schools and their communities with all sorts of deprivations in their lives, including family and educational problems. They can see someone like Jackie, who made it and just didn't do OK, but went straight to the top."

Joyner-Kersee was born in East St. Louis, Ill., where she won her first of four consecutive National Pentathlon Championships at age 14. After graduating from high school, she accepted a basketball scholarship at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). It was at UCLA where she met her coach and future husband, Bob Kersee, who encouraged her to train for multiple-event meets.

Joyner-Kersee won a silver medal in the 1994 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. She won gold in both the long jump and the heptathlon at the 1988 Games in Seoul. She also won gold in 1992 in Barcelona and a bronze in the long jump last year in Atlanta.

"Jackie has been a consistent, superior competitor and she will always have a place in Olympic history," Price said.

Tickets for Joyner-Kersee's lecture are available at the Jorgensen Box Office or by calling 486-4226. The talk is free for all UConn students, faculty and staff with valid IDs and $5 for the public.


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