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Oct. 2, 2002

One of ESPN’s 50 Greatest Athletes of the Century and Sports Illustrated Female Athlete of the Century, Jackie Joyner-Kersee will speak at USC’s annual track and field banquet on Friday, Oct. 4 at the River Center at Saluda Shoals Park in Irmo, S.C. Joyner-Kersee dominated the sport of track and field for more than 20 years, setting world and American records that still exist today.

The banquet will honor USC’s track and field teams as well. There are 25 tickets for sale for $20 a piece. The banquet includes dinner. Call USC Assistant Coach Delethea Quarles for more information at (803) 777-3829.

Joyner-Kersee won three straight gold medals in the Heptathlon at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. In addition she won gold medals in the Heptathlon at the Goodwill Games and the World Championships. She also won medals in the long jump at the Olympics, the World Championships and the Goodwill Games.

“It’s more than an honor to have Jackie Joyner-Kersee speak at our banquet this year,” said USC Head Coach Curtis Frye. “She is not only one of the top female athletes in the history of athletics, but also an incredible warm person that is very involved in the community and proud to be an American. She is a wonderful role model for our men’s and women’s track and field teams. We are thrilled to have her speak as we celebrate the women’s NCAA title and the men’s sixth place finish.”

She is also well known for her work off the track, in the community, serving as the Chairperson of St. Louis’ Sports Commission and Co-Founder of Jackie Joyner-Kersee Racing (NASCAR) and Founder of the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Youth Center Foundation. Joyner-Kersee raised more than $12 million to build a safe haven for young people in her hometown of East St. Louis, Illinois. Of the center she said: “When I leave this earth, I want to know I’ve created something that will help others.”