A three-time Olympic gold medalist in track and field, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, will be the special guest at the All-Mohawk Valley All-Stars dinner June 18, 2019. The awards dinner will take place at Mohawk Valley Community College’s Jorgensen Center. Joyner-Kersee will participate in a Q&A session during the awards dinner and take photos with student-athlete award winners.

Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased on uticaod.com/mvallstars. Student-athletes selected to one of the All-Mohawk Valley all-star teams will receive a letter in the mail with instructions on how to claim their free ticket to the banquet. The banquet is hosted by the Observer-Dispatch and sponsored by Chanatry’s Hometown Market and MVCC.

Jackie Joyner-Kersee is one of the most decorated female athletes of all-time, she dominated the track and field circuit for 16 years and won three gold medals, one silver and two bronze medals spanning four Olympic Games during her career. At the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, Jackie won the silver medal in the heptathlon. Four years later, at the 1988 Games in Seoul, Korea, Jackie struck gold in both her signature events - the heptathlon and long jump. She followed that up at the 1992 Games in Barcelona, Spain by winning gold in the heptathlon and bronze in the long jump. In her final Olympic appearance at the 1996 Atlanta Games, she won the bronze medal in the long jump. In addition, she won a total of four gold medals (two in the heptathlon and two in the long jump) at three different World Championships and finished first in the long jump at the 1987 Pan American Games.

Sports Illustrated for Women magazine named Jackie the Greatest Female Athlete of the 20th Century and in 1986 and 1987, Jackie received the Jesse Owens Award. She still holds the world record in the heptathlon and is the American record holder in both the heptathlon and long jump.

Theo Wargo

On December 3, 2004, Jackie was inducted into the U.S. Track and Field Hall of Fame. The inaugural recipient of the Humanitarian Athlete of the Year, Joyner-Kersee is known worldwide for her interest in aiding others. She has helped to build the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Youth Center Foundation in her hometown of East St. Louis, Ill., and has raised more than $12 million.

"Joyner-Kersee will be the first female speaker at our third annual All-Mohawk Valley All-Star celebration, and the timing couldn't be better," said O-D Sports Editor Ron Moshier. "The 2018-19 school year already has produced several outstanding performances by high school girls in our area, including individual state champions in cross-country and gymnastics and two girls soccer teams that reached the finals of the state tournament, and that's before the start of the spring sports seasons."

The awards dinner will consist of a sit-down meal, awards presentation, and Jackie Joyner-Kersee will speak to attendees. Visit uticaod.com/mvallstars for more information.