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Jackie Joyner-Kersee: Final Frames Of the Olympic Games

1 minute read
Lee Griggs, Kumiko Makihara and Ellie Mcgrath/Seoul

Jackie Joyner-Kersee was jumping for joy. After copping the heptathlon gold, she returned last week to her first love, the long jump. But the wind in the Olympic stadium was tricky, and she trailed Heike Drechsler of East Germany for most of the competition. “I kept feeding myself positive information,” she remarked afterward. “I kept saying, ‘You can do it, you can do it.’ ” Indeed she could. On the fifth jump, Joyner-Kersee soared 24 ft. 3 1/2 in., the second best performance of her career. When it was clear that she had won, husband and coach Bob Kersee whooped with joy and joined her on the track for part of her victory lap.

Jackie’s jubilation at winning a second gold medal was tempered only by goodwill toward her East German friend and opponent. She and Drechsler left the field hand in hand on the way to receive their medals. Said Jackie after her victory: “I think it’s fantastic for myself and Florence to perform so well. I can share my golds with Bobby, and Florence can share hers with Al.” And with millions of viewers around the world who were thrilled by their extraordinary feats.

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