Track and Field Legend Jackie Joyner-Kersee Named Keynote Speaker at Illinois Governor’s Prayer Breakfast

SPRINGFIELD, IL — Track and field legend, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, was the keynote speaker on May 5 at the 53rd annual Illinois Governor’s Prayer Breakfast held at the Hilton Springfield where she shared her story about going from an impoverished downstate community to the highest athletic stage in the world. Source:

Joyner-Kersee told a crowd of about 500 people how she never saw herself one day with three gold medals.

“Growing up on the streets of East St. Louis, when a lot of times they say nothing good comes from my community, I disagree with that because there’s a lot great people in that community trying to do a lot of great things,” she said.

Joyner-Kersee said the state is facing a lot of problems, but she called for unity from the lawmakers in finding a solution. “I challenge you as you move forward in your daily lives in the challenges you’re faced with because our state is struggling as a whole,” she said. “But we must find a way to continue to work together to put our differences aside and always remember we’re trying to do the good for the people.”

Gov. Bruce Rauner briefly introduced Joyner-Kersee but left before she gave her speech. The governor appeared hours later at a Chicago City Council meeting. “She is what America is all about: dedication, perseverance, striving and then giving back in our communities,” he said in his introduction. “She shares the values that unite us and make America the greatest nation in the world.”

Watch track & field legend Jackie Joyner-Kersee speaking with CBN in Feb. 2014.

Joyner-Kersee ranks among the greatest athletes in the women’s heptathlon & women’s long jump. She won 3 gold, 1 silver & 2 bronze Olympic medals at the Olympics. Jackie has also stood out as a philanthropist through her generosity, kind spirit, and dedication to the development of young people, particularly in her hometown of East St. Louis, Illinois. She established the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Community Foundation in 1988. In 1997, the Foundation joined with the East St. Louis Youth Center Foundation to form the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Youth Center Foundation, of which Jackie serves as chairperson. The Foundation has partnered with Boys & Girls Clubs to create the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Boys & Girls Club. The Foundation and Boys & Girls Club serve the citizens of East St. Louis. In addition to athletic and philanthropic achievements, Joyner-Kersee has accomplishments in other areas.

Christian Speakers 360 is a booking agent for Christian athletes and celebrities. If you would like to book Jackie Joyner-Kersee for an appearance, contact Jackie Joyner-Kersee’s booking agent at 1.800.966.1380.

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