To a generation of kids who came of age in the 1980s and early 1990s, she will be the incredible track and field superstar forever remembered standing atop the Olympic podium, both of her arms raised in the air while sporting a stars and stripes jacket and hoisting flowers.

To kids of this generation, they are unlikely to think of her as icon in sport but as an icon in philanthropy, eager to help less fortunate children and families in her hometown.

As he once told Forbes magazine, “Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. You can turn a doubter into a believer as long as you believe.”

Having been dubbed “The Greatest Female Athlete of the 20th Century’ by Sports Illustrated, Joyner-Kersee’s athletic accomplishments are literally second to none. And her accomplishments are why the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame proudly inducted Joyner-Kersee with the Class of 2018.

By the conclusion of her career in the heptathlon and long jump events, she had amassed six Olympic medals (three gold, one silver, two bronze) and four World Champion titles over four consecutive Olympic Games between 1984 and 1996.

Joyner-Kersee was the first woman in history to earn more than 7,000 points in the heptathlon and today, more than 30 years later, she still holds the world heptathlon record of 7,291 points. She continues to hold the Olympic and national records in the long jump and her 1994 performance in the long jump remains the second longest in history.

In addition to the heptathlon and long jump, Joyner-Kersee was a world class 100 meters hurdler and long jumper and, after a decorated All-American career in basketball at the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA), she eventually played professional basketball for a short time.

This from athlete who grew up in East St. Louis and found inspiration while watching the 1976 Montreal Olympics on TV and following sprinter Evelyn Ashford.

“She had her hair in a cornrow braid, and I wore my hair in braids,” Joyner-Kersee was quoted as saying. “She was also young and amazing, and it was incredible to see someone who looked similar to me. I thought, ‘I want to be in the Olympics.”

The road there had its challenges. In high school, officials considered ending the girls track and field program before her coach advocated for its survival.

“People like my coach, Nino Fennoy, made a difference in my life and paved the way for me,” Joyner-Kersee was quoted as saying. “He has always been a father figure and is still a mentor to me. When they were going to do away with the girls program and coaches decided to just coach boys, Coach Fennoy stepped up to say, ‘No.”

What a remarkable turn of event it became. Joyner-Kersee grew up in humble beginnings as one of four children to Mary and Alfred Joyner. (Her older brother, Al, was an Olympic champion triple jumper and married Florence Griffith-Joyner, a multi-Olympic gold medalist sprinter.)

And yet there she was in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, winning silver in the heptathlon. But she became household name during the 1988 Seoul Olympics as she won golds in the heptathlon and long jump, setting the still-standing heptathlon world record.

And to think that years before she nearly left UCLA frustrated because she didn’t immediately see success. A coach talked her into staying.

“Be receptive and open to people being honest with you,” Joyner-Kersee told Forbes. “Sticking it out allowed me to deal with the ups and downs that came into my life.”

Married to Bob Kersee since 1986, Joyner-Kersee has defined her post-athletic career as a philanthropist, a dynamic public speaker, and a tireless advocate for children’s education, health issues, racial equality, social reform and women’s rights.

In 1988, she established the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation, which encourages young people in East St. Louis to pursue athletics and academics.

In 2011, she partnered with Comcast on the Internet Essentials program, which provides high-speed internet for low-income Americans for a small monthly fee. Some 4 million have benefitted.

Truth is, she was volunteering in the early 1980s, long before she became a star.

“Give your time,” Joyner-Kersee told The Undefeated. “Work on taking someone under your wing. While I was competing, I knew this was something I always wanted to be involved in. That’s why I built my community center, and I’m back in the community trying to really share what I know.”