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Bringing home the gold – Olympic star opens youth center

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EAST ST. LOUIS — Olympic Gold Medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee has opened a $5.8 million Youth Center in her hometown.

The 38-acre site includes computer rooms, learning resource center, weight room, and 13,000-quare-foot gym.  The site will provide recreational, educational, and cultural programs for more than 14,000 youngsters 18 and under.

Joyner-Kersee spearheaded the $12 million fundraising campaign to cover the center’s construction, endowment, and operating costs.

The Joyner-Kersee Foundation plans to add a $4 million natatorium with the money it raised in excess of the original goal.

The Joyner-Kersee Boys & Girls Club replaces the recently closed Mary Brown Center, a local community center that Joyner-Kersee said was her “second home” in childhood.

The track star, who recently named “Female Athlete of the Century” by Sports Illustrated for Women, plans to coach children’s activities at the center.

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