The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), working in cooperation with USA Track & Field, will send track and field legend Jackie Joyner-Kersee to Jerusalem and the West Bank April 12-18 on the U.S. Department of State’s inaugural track and field Sports Envoy program.
The program supports sustained peace and opportunities in the region. In the West Bank, Joyner-Kersee will encourage the advancement of sports initiatives for Palestinian women and girls and highlight the benefits of sports in promoting health and well-being, positive life skills, and creating opportunity. The week-long program will connect Americans with Palestinians through clinics, team-building activities, and a track and field day as part of the Empowering Women and Girls through Sports Initiative.
Voted by Sports Illustrated as the greatest female athlete of the 20th century, Joyner-Kersee will embark on her inaugural trip as a State Department Sports Envoy. She has participated in four Olympics earning three gold, one silver, and two bronze medals in heptathlon and the long jump.
Through its sports diplomacy programming, ECA encourages the involvement of traditionally underrepresented audiences. Since 2003, ECA has brought nearly 1,000 athletes from more than 60 countries to the United States to participate in sports visitor programs while sending over 220 U.S. athletes to more than 50 countries on sports envoy programs.