JJK, as she is widely known, is often considered to be the greatest all-round woman athlete ever and the famous American magazine Sports Illustrated voted her The Greatest Female Athlete of the 20th Century.
Joyner-Kersee won the long jump and heptathlon by huge margins at the 1987 IAAF World Championships and repeated the same double 12 months later at the 1988 Olympic Games.
She added a second heptathlon title at the 1992 Olympics, where she also won a long jump silver medal, and between 1985 and 1991 she won 12 consecutive heptathlon contests.
At the start of the summer of 2012, she had the top six heptathlon points totals and her world record of 7291 points, achieved when she won the first of her Olympic heptathlon titles in Seoul, is a massive 259 points better than anyone else has ever scored.
Joyner-Kersee could always be guaranteed to get an avalanche of points from the long jump, an event at which she also won two world titles in 1987 and 1991. She still lies second in the all-time rankings with her American record of 7.49m.
Her final global title came when she won the heptathlon at the 1993 World Championships.
“She was a fabulous jumper, a world class hurdler, a first rate sprinter, an accomplished thrower and a highly respectable 800m runner. No wonder she dominated the heptathlon for so long,” were the words written in The Magic of Athletics - A Century of Great Moments, which was published in 2000.