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Kersee, Fosbury to be honored at USATF Black Tie & Sneakers Gala

INDIANAPOLIS -- Two superstars in track and field history will be honored on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016, as USATF presents USATF Legacy awards to legends Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Dick Fosbury at the Black Tie and Sneakers Gala in New York City.

The Black Tie and Sneakers Gala is USATF’s annual celebration, recognizing the sport’s most iconic athletes and hosts the National Track & Field Hall of Fame Induction ceremony. Last year, over 500 guests attended the inaugural edition in New York City.

Female athlete of the century
Named by Sports Illustrated as the greatest female athlete of the 20th century, Jackie Joyner-Kersee's achievements include three Olympic gold medals, four World Outdoor Championships gold medals, and the still-standing heptathlon world record of 7,291 points. JJK is a four-time Olympian who has six Olympic medals and four World Championships medals to her credit. A 22-time USATF champion, Joyner-Kersee still owns four American records (50mH, 55mH, outdoor long jump, heptathlon) and is a National Track & Field Hall of Famer. Joyner-Kersee was the first woman ever to break 7,000 points in the heptathlon.

Fosbury Flop revolutionized the high jump
As a high schooler in Medford, Oregon, Dick Fosbury revolutionized the high jump when he developed a new technique that quickly became known as "the Fosbury Flop," which involved going over the bar headfirst and backward, with one's body horizontal to the ground. The technique worked so well that Fosbury improved by one foot in high school -- from 1.61m/5-3.75 to 1.92m/6-3.75. At Oregon State University, Fosbury first cleared 7' during the 1968 indoor season and became a surprise winner at the Mexico City Olympics in 1968 by clearing 2.24m/7-4.25 for then-Olympic and American records. He was elected to the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 1992 and has also been inducted into the Oregon Hall of Fame, the National Track & Field Hall of Fame, and the World Humanitarian Hall of Fame.

Proceeds benefit Elite Athlete Mentorship Program
The Gala will continue to help support USATF’s current and former stars. The Mentorship program connects USATF elite athletes with business executives, former athletes and career coaches to prepare them for success after their competitive careers conclude. Athletes such as Michelle Carter and Shannon Rowbury already are part of a pilot program, with more Olympic athletes slated to join the mentorship program on an ongoing basis.

Tickets on sale
Tickets are available now at For table sponsorship information, please contact

Susan Hazzard
Director of Public Relations
USA Track & Field

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