University of South Carolina

Olympic Gold Medalist to speak Nov. 3 at USC

Contact: Margaret Lamb 803.777.5400;

Olympic gold medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson, the first woman to win the marathon at the Olympics, will speak at noon Thursday, Nov. 3, in the Russell House theater.

“There Is No Finish Line” will be the title of the talk by Samuelson, whose visit is sponsored by the Arnold School of Public Health and the department of exercise science.

Samuelson’s name is synonymous with women’s running. She began running track in high school in Cape Elizabeth, Me., and continued to excel as a runner at Bowdoin College. She earned All-American honors in cross-country and track and won the Boston Marathon in 1979, setting an American and course record. Samuelson won the Boston Marathon again in 1983, breaking the world record.

The next year, at age 27, Samuelson won the gold medal in the first women’s marathon at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. In 1985, Samuelson won the Chicago Marathon with an American record time of 2:21:21.

She is a consultant to Nike Inc. and a clinician who conducts running, health and fitness clinics throughout the world. A motivational speaker, Samuelson gives talks to corporations, civic groups, schools, and athletes. She is the author of “Joan Samuelson’s Running for Women” (Rodale Press, 1995) and her autobiography, “Running Tide” (Knopf, 1987).

Samuelson founded the TD Bank 10K in 1998 to benefit children’s charities. The annual race attracts more than 6,000 runners and more than 10,000 spectators, making it one of the most popular events in New England. She has been inducted into the Olympic Hall of Fame.

She is married and has two children, Abby and Anders.

For more information about the event, call Karen Magradey at 777-3471.

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Posted: 10/26/11 @ 9:00 PM | Updated: 10/28/11 @ 2:42 PM | Permalink