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Jackie Joyner-Kersee

An Athlete Committed To Helping Others

Joyner-Kersee continued to compete in track and field, but also turned her attention to other projects. She had long been known not only as a star athlete, but as a generous and gracious person who was committed to helping others. She became involved in Nike's PLAY (Participate in the Lives of American Youth) program, raising funds for youth activity centers, and founded a scholarship fund, the Joyner-Kersee Community Foundation. She worked with children in her home town, East St. Louis. Although she spent some time trying to rebuild the old Mayor Brown Community Center where she had played as a child, she announced in 1997 that the Joyner-Kersee Community Foundation would finance the construction of a new center, occupying 37 acres in downtown East St. Louis. The center would have facilities for basketball, baseball, indoor and outdoor track and field, but would also house a library, computer center, and other educational resources.

In 1998, Joyner-Kersee signed to become an agent with the National Football League Players Association, and created a sports management company to represent a variety of athletes. By the end of that year, she was representing three NFL players. In that same year, she won a gold medal in the heptathlon in the Goodwill Games. On August 1, 1998, she announced that she was retiring from competition, but she did not fill out the official forms that are required to certify such an announcement.

In 2000, Joyner-Kersee tried to qualify for the 2000 Olympic team, but did not make the cut. After this, she said that she would not compete again, even in Masters competitions for older athletes. In that same year, the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Boys and Girls Club was officially opened in East St. Louis.

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Famous Sports StarsTrack and FieldJackie Joyner-Kersee Biography - An Impoverished Beginning, First Pentathlon Win, Chronology, Competes In First Olympics, An Athlete Committed To Helping Others - SELECTED WRITINGS BY JOYNER-KERSEE: