Jackie Joyner-Kersee officially retires

Jackie Joyner-Kersee, winner of six Olympic medals, has officially retired from track and field.

USA Track & Field said Thursday it had received final paperwork from the 38-year-old Joyner-Kersee declaring her retirement.

Joyner-Kersee, the heptathlon world record-holder and American record-holder in the long jump, had announced her retirement in 1998 but did not fill out any forms.

She came back last year in an attempt to make her fifth Olympic team, but her effort fell short. She finished sixth in the long jump in the U.S. Olympic trials at Sacramento, Calif.

After missing the team, the rusty Joyner-Kersee was emphatic that she would not compete again even in seniors competitions.

"No," she said, "not even in the Masters.

"I could never be disappointed because I've been on four Olympic teams. This was a long shot. I felt that maybe I could put it together ... I deserve to go home and do what I was doing before I decided to come back out. For me, this was it."

Joyner-Kersee won the long jump and the heptathlon at the 1988 Olympics and the heptathlon at the 1992 Games. Overall, her six Olympic medals -- including a silver in the heptathlon in 1984 and bronzes in the long jump in 1992 and 1996 -- are more than any woman in track and field history.

She also won three gold medals at the world track and field championships -- in the long jump and heptathlon in 1987 and the long jump in 1991.,

Joyner-Kersee set the world heptathlon record of 7,291 points at the 1988 Seoul Games and the American long jump record of 7.49 metres at New York in May 1994 and matched it two months later at Sestriere, Italy.

Before embarking on her track and field career, she starred on UCLA's women's basketball team for four years. Later, she played briefly in the American Basketball League.

In 1986 and 1987, Joyner-Kersee won the Sullivan Award as the outstanding amateur athlete in the U.S.