Olympics: Regal Masters Of Olympic Versatility

Joyner-Kersee is at a place Thompson has known and strains to hold, where all you need is everything you've got

She is the standard this time. The Olympics will be considered a success if the course of international sweetness and light runs and jumps and generally glides along as smoothly as Jackie Joyner-Kersee. A third of a second late in 1984, she had to wait four full years for her time to come, to go flying leglong into Seoul like a streamer of confetti.

Dashing, racing, hurdling, hurtling, heaving cannon balls, slinging spears -- long jumping on the side -- Joyner-Kersee has at last reached the station her grandmother foretold 26 years ago in naming her after a First Lady of...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!