FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Olympic Legend Jackie Joyner-Kersee To Be Inducted into Educators' Hall of Fame
RESTON, VA, February 10, 2014 – Olympic legend Jackie Joyner-Kersee, named by Sports Illustrated as the "Greatest Female Athlete of the 20th Century," will be inducted into the Hall of Fame of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) for her outstanding contributions to sport and philanthropy, AAHPERD officials announced today. A six-time Olympic medalist, including three Olympic gold medals, Joyner-Kersee dominated the Olympic heptathlon and long jump events throughout her career. She currently serves as the representative and spokesperson for the St. Louis Public Schools' AIM for Fitness Project. AAHPERD will bestow the honor at the organization's Hall of Fame Banquet on Friday, April 4, at the Renaissance St. Louis Grand Hotel, during the 129th Annual AAHPERD Convention & Expo.
Joining Joyner-Kersee as 2014 Hall of Fame inductees will be Ronald Feingold, professor emeritus at Adelphi University in New York. That evening AAHPERD will also honor its National Physical Education Teachers of the Year for Elementary, Middle and High School and National Teachers of the Year for adapted physical education, dance and health at the banquet, which is sponsored by Human Kinetics, an employee-owned company committed to serving the physical activity field.
AAHPERD's Hall of Fame awards are given to honor outstanding individuals who 1) make significant contributions to maintaining sport, physical education and physical activity as an integral part of the total education program; 2) further the image of sport and healthy physical activity for all; 3) accentuate the integral relationships of sport, motor development and physical activity to the total educational process; 4) encourage involvement in meaningful competitive sport or physical activity programs by influential educators and citizens in all walks of life; and 5) symbolize the educational and developmental potentials of physical education and sport.
Past Hall of Fame inductees include golfer Annika Sorenstam, University of Tennessee Women's Basketball Coach Pat Summitt, tennis greats Billie Jean King and the late Arthur Ashe, NFL Hall of Famers Nick Buoniconti and Anthony Munoz, and Olympians Wilma Rudolph, Rulon Gardner, Dan Jansen, Rafer Johnson, Nancy Hogshead, Carl Lewis, Kristine Lilly, Shannon Miller, Edwin Moses, Dot Richardson, Peter Vidmar and Tony DiCicco.
In addition to her remarkable accomplishments on the field of competition, Joyner-Kersee has defined her post-athletic career as a philanthropist, dynamic public speaker and a tireless advocate for children's education and health as well as supporter of racial equality, social reform and women's rights. In 1988 she established the Jackie-Joyner-Kersee Foundation as the vehicle through which she provides youth, adults and families with resources to improve the quality of their lives. Her foundation raised over $12 million to build the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Center, a 41,000 square foot facility with 1,200 seat gymnasium on a 37-acre site in East St. Louis. In 2007 Jackie Joyner-Kersee along with Andre Agassi, Muhammad Ali, and other legends of their sports, founded Athletes for Hope, which helps professional athletes get involved in charitable causes and inspires millions of non-athletes to volunteer and support the community.
Despite the advancements in technology and training used by athletes around the world over the last two decades, Joyner-Kersee still holds the heptathlon world record of 7,291 points, which she set over 20 years ago at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea. She also owns four World Outdoor Championships gold medals. As a spokesperson for the St. Louis Public Schools' AIM for Fitness Project, Joyner-Kersee visits schools and talks about the importance of good nutrition and physical activity in all children's lives. A member of the Board of Directors of USA Track & Field, she is the author of both A Kind of Grace (1997), her autobiography, and A Woman's Place is Everywhere. In 2013 she keynoted the Scholar Athlete Luncheon for St. Louis Public Schools where she spoke about the importance of being a scholar athlete. The luncheon included 410 students and 60 adult role models, from a wide variety of sports and sports careers.
The Society of Health and Physical Educators, doing business as SHAPE America, is headquartered in Reston, VA, 25 miles west of Washington, D.C. Its vision is "Healthy People – Physically Educated and Physically Active!" SHAPE America is the largest organization of professionals involved in physical education, physical activity, dance, school health and sport--all specialties related to achieving an active, healthy lifestyle. Its mission is to advance professional practice and promote research related to health and physical education, physical activity, dance and sport by providing its members with a comprehensive and coordinated array of resources, support and programs to help practitioners improve their skills to further the health and well-being of the American public. For more information, visit www.shapeamerica.org.