Carmelita “The Jet” Jeter
Known as the Fastest Woman Alive, Carmelita “The Jet” Jeter (pronounced Jet-er) is the top American sprinter with three Olympic medals and world record holder. 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 of high school, she tried out for track to help keep in shape in offseason. Not only did Carmelita show up to tryouts wearing basketball high-top sneakers and basketballs shorts, she also ran an 11.7 second in the 1OOm in them, proving her natural talent for sprinting.
Upon graduating high school, Carmelita signed on with California State University, Dominguez Hills track team (Division II) 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. 2007 marked Carmelita’s first year on the professional track and field circuit, setting her place in history by taking her first medal in l00m at the 2007 World Championships, setting a personal best record that same season, and also winning a silver medal at the USA Track and Field Indoor Championships that same year. In 2009 World Championships, Carmelita became the second fastest woman in history and set a championship record of 10.64 in the 100m. This was the fastest l00m time in 12 years, a time which had only been bettered by Florence Griffith-Joyner; making her known as the “Fastest Woman Alive.”
During the 2012 Olympics, Carmelita anchored the US Olympic 4x100m relay team that smashed the old record by more than half a second and took home Olympic gold. Making her the first athlete to ever medal in both the l00m and 200m race at the Olympics, taking home 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 the local female athlete whose performance and character exemplified the ideals of sportsmanship during the calendar year. That same year, Carmelita was also the Recipient of the Jesse Owens Award – the highest accolade in the sport, given by USA Track & Field to the 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 are worn during each race in support of breast cancer research, and became an ambassador for Susan G. Komen for the Cure Los Angeles. In 2014, Carmelita launched her first Track Clinic attracting over 100 kids to learn about health and fitness while honing their track skills. She is also an avid supporter of After-School All Stars, Boys and Girls Club, Teen Cancer America, Step Up and Children’s Health Fund where she spends time mentoring and encouraging youth. Carmelita is also passionate about supporting the communities where she was raised in the Los Angeles area. In November 2016, Carmelita and her brother Eugene” Pooh” Jeter (who plays for the Chinese Basketball League) held their Second Annual Thanksgiving Turkey Drive in the City of Lawndale. Carmelita is also going on three years as an official Ambassador for Mayor of Compton, Aja Brown’s Healthy Compton Initiative, a city-wide initiative designed to promote healthy living among the residents of Compton, California.
My Life in Track and Field: Winning Isn’t Always About Coming in First
Story of Carmelita “The Jet” Jeter, the top American sprinter with three Olympic medals and Olympic world record holder. Learn how she used a changed mindset to turn failure into success. Winning is not always coming in first – many times it’s about starting and getting people to believe. Getting people to want more and expect more from themselves. It’s running through a wall – having a never give up mentality to push yourself over and beyond.