Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Eight-Hour Day Just a Workout as Jjk Seeks Gold

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Eight-Hour Day Just a Workout as Jjk Seeks Gold

Article excerpt

Jackie Joyner-Kersee rang in the New Year in Times Square, making a corporate appearance for McDonald's. Her coach and husband, Bob Kersee, no doubt would have preferred that she compete in the five-mile midnight run in Central Park.

The Kersees are four months into a training program designed to provide Jackie with her fourth and fifth Olympic gold medals and affirm her position as the greatest female athlete ever.

Last summer proved a rare disappointment for Joyner-Kersee, who suffered from nagging injuries and asthma and finished a disappointing sixth in the long jump at the world championships, then withdrew from the heptathlon.

After a two-week vacation in August, the Kersees began a rigorous cross-training program that takes eight hours a day and involves weightlifting, riding a stationary bike and jogging in a pool while wearing a flotation belt. The idea is to train vigorously while reducing the stress on her bothersome hamstring muscles and Achilles' tendons. She is also tended to by three physical therapists.

"I have to want to work hard and be mentally tougher than the next person," said Joyner-Kersee, who is from East St. Louis and has residences in St. Louis County and southern California. "Last year, because of the nagging injuries, I didn't believe in my heart that I had put the work in, and I doubted my ability."

The doubts have disappeared along with the injuries. And, though she'll be 34 when the Games open July 19 in Atlanta, Joyner-Kersee is certain that she can win her third gold medal in the heptathlon and second in the long jump.

"I don't have any doubts," Joyner-Kersee told the New York Times. "I don't want to sound arrogant, but I believe that if I continue to work hard, I'll be ready."

Local Line: Nancy Pelligreen joins Kristin Folkl as St. Louisans with a shot at marching alongside Joyner-Kersee in the Opening Ceremony in Atlanta.

Pelligreen, who helped North Carolina win the NCAA championship in field hockey this past fall, was named Friday to the 22-member U. …

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