When most retire, their main focus is on relaxing after their many years of hard work, but Jackie Joyner-Kersee has chosen another path, hoping to leave behind a legacy that goes beyond her Olympic achievements.
Jackie Joyner-Kersee is a Titan in women's athletics. She is a six-time Olympic medalist who has won three Olympic gold medals with Sports Illustrated calling her the “Greatest Female Athlete of the 20th Century.”
She mastered the Olympic long jump and Heptathlon, with a record she set at the 1988 Olympic Games in Korea. At 59 and in retirement, she still looks amazing, using her newfound time to give back.
Jackie Joyner-Kersee competing in the javelin throw at a track and field event circa 1987. [Month and day of the month unspecified]. | Photo: Getty Images
She founded the Joyner-Kersee Foundation, which aims to improve provide resources for individuals and families. She recently took to Twitter to post a picture of her taking part in an event for the foundation, tweeting:
"So much fun today team! @jjkfoundation event supporting our programs #JJKWinninginlife."
In the picture, the accomplished athlete was playing golf. She appeared to be highly fixated on the ball with a smile on her face, preparing to hit it with a golf stick.
She is an avid supporter of women athletes. Last year she spoke on a panel with other women about leadership and their power regarding females in the sporting world.
She hopes that before all the Olympic accolades, that people will recall what she stood for.
Joyner-Kersee went to UCLA via a basketball scholarship and is now invested in female basketball. She posted a shot of her supporting the St. Louis Surge team and another of her smiling with a female basketball player.
The ex-Olympian also receives love back from her fellow sportswomen. Fellow successful Dr. Sharrieffa Barksdale OLY replied to one of her tweets last year, sending her love and inspiration.
Also, living life under the pandemic, she shared a picture of herself last year appearing to administer a COVID-19 test on herself. This was assumably done to encourage others to get tested if they have symptoms.
When asked what legacy she hoped to leave behind, this gold-hearted philanthropist didn't focus on her athletic achievements. Rather, Joyner-Kersee expressed:
"What I hope other people remember about me... is that I was a great human being."
She hopes that before all the Olympic accolades, that people will recall what she stood for. With the combination of her foundation and her work with females athletes, this wish may just come true.
Following in her footsteps, another prolific young woman who is making strides in female athletics is gymnast Simone Biles. Recently, she became the first woman to land a Yurchenko double pike.
She is also invested in women's issues. Speaking at New York’s Lower Eastside Girls Club, she informed the young girls that no matter what they do, people will always be focused on how they look - ignore it, she said.