(NEW YORK) — Jackie Joyner-Kersee is ranked among the all-time greatest athletes in the women’s heptathlon and women’s long jump.
During her Olympic career, Kersee took home three gold, one silver, and two bronze medals in those two events at four different Olympic Games. Kersee is currently involved with the Boys and Girls Club of America and joined ABC Sports Radio to catch up on her Olympic career.
Before becoming a big track star, Kersee received a scholarship to UCLA and played basketball as well as track and credited Title IX for giving her the chance to do so.
“Made a big difference in my life,” Kersee said. “I could see the change for girls sports, not just from the physical standpoint, but from the standpoint where people appreciate young girls wanting to be involved in athletics.”
Kersee was voted the Greatest Female Athlete of the 20th century by Sports Illustrated for Women magazine and spoke about that achievement.
“A great honor,” Kersee said. “You just never know where your journey is going to take you.”
Kersee said she always dreamed about being in the Olympics. When she was 14-years-old, she watched the 1976 Olympic Games on television and knew then that was what she wanted to do.
“I never thought I would have an opportunity to really go there and win a medal and then once you do win, for me, I thought about all the people who believed in me along the way to help make that difference in my life.”
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Jill Martin, CNN