Feb 16, 2017
Carmelita “The Jet” Jeter, is a top sprinter with three Olympic medals and a world record. Born and raised in Southern California, Carmelita got her athletic start in basketball; although she excelled in the sport shared by her family, it wasn’t until high school that she found her love for speed.
During her freshman year, Carmelita’s basketball coach suggested she try out for track to help her keep in shape in the off-season. Although Carmelita showed up to that track practice wearing basketball high-top sneakers and basketballs shorts, her natural talent for sprinting was evident. She went on to run an 11.7 during that track season.
Upon graduating high school, Carmelita signed with California State University, Dominguez Hills’ track team and became the University’s first U.S. Olympic trials qualifier. Carmelita went on to become the most decorated track & field athlete in the history of the school all while achieving her degree in physical education.
Carmelita posted a lifetime best of 10.83, winning the second semifinal before finishing third in the final with a time of 10.90 at the 2009 World Championships,. After the 2009 World Championships, Carmelita entered the IAAF World Athletics Final having won her last three races by a significant margin.
During the 2009 World Championships, Carmelita not only won the 100m, but became the third fastest woman in history, setting a championship record with a time of 10.67. This was the fastest 100m time recorded in 12 years, a time which had only been bettered by Marion Jones and Florence Griffith-Joyner. Carmelita proved herself to be the best once again that year by not only winning the Shanghai Golden Grand Prix, but setting a new personal best with a time of 10.64, making her the second fastest woman ever and earning the title of the “Fastest Woman Alive.”
During the 2012 Olympics, Carmelita anchored the US Olympic 4x100m relay team that smashed the old world record by more than half a second allowing the team to take home Olympic gold.
Carmelita became the first athlete to ever medal in both the 100m and 200m race at an Olympic Games, taking home both the Silver in the 100m and Bronze in the 200m. In 2012, Carmelita was named the Los Angeles Sports Woman of the Year, an award given to a local female athlete whose performance and character exemplified the ideals of sportsmanship during that calendar year.
That same year, Carmelita was also the recipient of the Jesse Owens Award – the highest accolade in the sport of Track & Field, awarded by USA Track & Field Association to the most outstanding US female track and field athlete.
Off the track, Carmelita has continued to invest her time in her community and philanthropic endeavors. After her aunt was diagnosed with Breast Cancer, Carmelita made it her mission to help fight for the cure.
She partnered with Nike to design hot pink spikes that she wears during each race in support of Breast Cancer research. In 2014, Carmelita was named the official Ambassador for Susan G. Komen’s California Circle of Promise Initiative designed to promote breast cancer awareness among African American women.
In 2014, Carmelita launched her first Track Clinic. The Team Jet Track Clinic attracted over 100 kids who learned about health and fitness while also honing their track skills. Carmelita is also an avid supporter of After-School All Stars, where she spends time mentoring and encouraging youth.
Carmelita’s younger brother, Eugene “Pooh” Jeter, is a professional basketball player, who currently plays for Chinese Shandong Lions of the Chinese Basketball Association.
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