Interview: Jackie Joyner-Kersee Talks Living Life After Olympic Sports
The world may never see another athlete quite like Jackie Joyner-Kersee. Her impressive career spanned four Olympic Games, earning her a total of three gold, one silver and two bronze medals over the course of her 12-year career as an Olympian. Sports Illustrated for Women named her the “Greatest Female Athlete of the 20th Century.”
As a woman used to life at full throttle, her career outside of the Olympic Stadium includes philanthropic work, along with projects designed to instill a love of sports in local communities. She established the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation in 1988 to help provide youth, adults and families with athletic lessons and the resources to improve their quality of life. She is a co-founder of Athletes for Hope, which inspires professional athletes to take part in charitable causes.
In fact, the only thing that slowed her down was knee pain caused by a grueling training regime and years of Olympic competition. Like millions of other Americans, she was prescribed opioid medication to manage the pain. While she was on opioid therapy, she experienced opioid-induced constipation (OIC), a side effect she described to be very uncomfortable.
During a recent interview, Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kersee, talked about her life after sports and the use of opioid medication prescribed by her healthcare provider to combat her pain symptoms, along with a common side effect she experienced from continued use of this type of medication.
Take a look at the interview above.
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About Jackie Joyner-Kersee
Jackie’s exceptional talent, ability, dedication and determination led the way to her receiving a basketball scholarship to the University of California Los Angeles, UCLA. Her standout performances as a basketball player made an even greater impact on her talent as a Track and Field star.
Today, Jackie is regarded as the Greatest Female Athlete of all-time; Sports Illustrated for Woman voted Jackie the best Female Athlete of the 20th century; ESPN named her one of the 50 Greatest Athletes of all-time. Jackie is the first woman to win back-to-back gold medals in the Heptathlon; she is the first woman to score 7,000 points in the Heptathlon and the first woman to win an Olympic Gold in the Long Jump. Having competed in 4 consecutive Olympics, Jackie won 3 gold medals, 1 silver and 2 bronze.
Additional accolades include: Winner of the Jessie Owens Award; Sullivan Award; Volunteers of America Humanitarian Award, the Trumpet; and CORE Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She is also the recipient of six honorary doctorates.
Her vision to open the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Center was realized in 2000. The center provides educational and recreational activities to thousands of families, youth and adults by providing after-school tutoring, youth sports leagues, nutrition and health education, and fitness and meals for seniors. Her autobiography, A Kind of Grace, has become a part of her motivational presentations which she delivers throughout the country as one of the great motivational speakers in the Speakers Circuit. Her goal is to bring awareness and raise funds for causes and initiatives she is passionate about.