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Track and field legend Jackie Joyner Kersee stops in Milwaukee to talk to young athletes

Jackie Joyner-Kersee
Posted at 10:33 PM, Aug 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-19 17:50:05-04

MILWAUKEE — Women's track and field legend Jackie Joyner-Kersee spoke to a group of local athletes in Milwaukee on Friday. To no surprise, they listened intently to the master even about technology.

"She told me to be able to put the computer down. I'm going to start training hard and stay away from technology a little bit,” Leeasia Hayes a local track athlete said.

Joyner-Kersee has competed in four summer Olympics. She won two golds in the heptathlon and another gold in long jump. Her total medal count is six.

As a veteran, she knows how important it is to help mentor the younger generation of athletes.

"I'm about young people. I love being able to encourage them and help them be the best that they can be,” she said.

What really sets her apart is that she accomplished so much while battling a disease that literally takes your breath away.

"When I was first diagnosed, I didn't want to talk about it, but then seeing people that are asthmatic and seeing how they say I encourage them by training every day I can encourage people that our quality of life shouldn't be diminished because of asthma,” said Joyner-Kersee. "I'm in this position, why not give up my time and encourage them to be the best that they can be. One day they will be up here, doing what I'm doing."