The greatest all-around female athlete, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, will receive the 2014 Scheels Sports “Nice Gal” Award, according to Banquet Chairman Paul McCann. Joyner-Kersee becomes the first female recipient of the formerly known ‘Nice Guy” Award. The presentation will be made at the 49th Annual Red Smith Sports Award Banquet on Tuesday, January 21, 2014, at 6:30 pm at the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel in downtown Appleton, Wisconsin.
Having been dubbed ‘The Greatest Female Athlete of the 20th Century’ by Sports Illustrated, Joyner-Kersee’s athletic accomplishments are second to none. She earned three Olympic Gold medals and the still-standing world record of 7,29I points in the women’s heptathlon (100-meter hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200-meter run, long jump, javelin throw, 800-meter run). The heptathlon demands speed, strength, and stamina.
Joyner-Kersee was a four-time Olympian where she amassed six Olympic medals (3 gold, 1 silver, 2 bronze) and four World Champion titles over four consecutive Olympic Games. She holds Olympic and national records in the long jump and her 1994 performance in the long jump remains the second longest in history.
Jackie was also a world class 100m and 200m runner and had a decorated All-American career in basketball at UCLA, she would go on to play professional basketball for a short time in the American Basketball League. In 1998 she retired from track and devotes much of her time to the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation and Athletes for Hope.
Each year the Scheels Sports “Nice Guy/Gal” Award is given to an athlete who has excelled at their sport on a national stage, all the while, showing great sportsmanship and honor to the sport. In addition to the naming rights of the award, Scheels Sports, known for their first class customer service along with the world’s largest selection of sports, sportswear and footwear also sponsors the Red Smith Committee’s annual special grant(s).These grant(s) help fund the development of new or expanded youth sports programs, new or improved youth sports facilities, or other special youth sports programs and events.