Jackie Joyner-Kersee Quotes

Track and Field Athlete

Jackie Joyner-Kersee in a long jump
Jackie Joyner-Kersee in a long jump. Tony Duffy / Getty Images

Jackie Joyner-Kersee, sister-in-law of Florence Griffith-Joyner, has been called the world's greatest woman athlete.

Jackie Joyner-Kersee won more Olympic medals than any other woman in track and field events: three gold, one silver, and two bronze medals. She competed in four Olympics in a row: 1984, 1988, 1992, and 1996.

Selected Jackie Joyner-Kersee Quotations

• Once I leave this earth, I know I've done something that will continue to help others.

• If a young female sees my dreams and goals come true, they will realize their dreams and goals might also come true.

• The glory of sport comes from dedication, determination and desire. Achieving success and personal glory in athletics has less to do with wins and losses than it does with learning how to prepare yourself so that at the end of the day, whether on the track or in the office, you know that there was nothing more you could have done to reach your ultimate goal.

• My grandma named me after Jacqueline Kennedy, hoping that someday I'd be the first lady of something.

• I don't think there is anything I cannot do in athletics if someone showed me how.

• It's better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret.

• I think it's the mark of a great player to be confident in tough situations.

• I like the heptathlon because it shows you what you're made of.

• The medals don't mean anything and the glory doesn't last. It's all about your happiness. The rewards are going to come, but my happiness is just loving the sport and having fun performing.

• It's a challenge for me to beat myself or do better. I try to push out of my mind not what I've accomplished but what I want to do.

• I don't think being an athlete is unfeminine. I think of it as a kind of grace.

• I don't need to act mean. Not if I do what I'm capable of.

• Ask any athlete: We all hurt at times. I'm asking my body to go through seven different tasks. To ask it not to ache would be too much.

• Age is no barrier. It's a limitation you put on your mind.

• The happiest moment for me was the day my brother, Al, and I both won Olympic medals in Los Angeles in 1984. We were one of the few brother-sister Olympic teams. We both wanted to go, and we both wanted to win gold medals. I won a silver medal for the heptathlon and he won the gold medal for the triple jump. I was much happier to see him win. It was disappointing to lose the gold, but it meant a lot more to me that my brother won the gold medal. There is more to life than personal goals.

Al Joyner, Jackie Joyner-Kersee's brother: I remember Jackie and me crying together in a back room in that house, swearing that someday we were going to make it. Make it out. Make things different.

Bob Kersee, on being married to and coaching Jackie Joyner-Kersee: We want to make it in terms of the coach-athlete relationship, and we want to stay married for the rest of our lives. So we've got rules in terms of our coach-athlete relationship and our husband-wife relationship. I'm surprised it works as well as it does, and I'm happy it does for both of us. We enjoy sport so much, and we enjoy one another so much, it would be a shame if we let track and field get in the way of our personal life, or our personal life get in the way of track and field.

Bruce Jenner: You have proved to the world that you are the greatest athlete who ever lived, male or female.

More About Jackie Joyner-Kersee

About These Quotes

Quote collection assembled by Jone Johnson Lewis. Each quotation page in this collection and the entire collection © Jone Johnson Lewis. This is an informal collection assembled over many years. I regret that I am not be able to provide the original source if it is not listed with the quote.