Carmelita “The Jet” Jeter, is a top American 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.
2007 marked Carmelita’s first year on the professional track and field circuit. She cemented her place in history by taking home her first medal in the 100m at the 2007 World Championships, setting a personal best record of 11.05 that same season, and also winning a silver medal at the 2007 USA Track and Field Indoor Championships with a time of 7.17 seconds.
During the 2008 season, Carmelita changed her coach, deciding to work with John Smith who had previously coached Olympic champion, Maurice Greene. Carmelita’s new coach began to completely remodel her running style, thus preparing her for greater success.
At the London Grand Prix in 2008, she placed first in the 100m, clocking a personal best of 10.92; it was the third fastest time at that point of the season. A week prior to the start of the World Championships, Carmelita was part of the US 4x100m relay team that ran the fastest women’s sprint relay in 12 years. Carmelita, Lauryn William, Allyson Felix and Muna Lee finished with a time of 41.58 seconds, bringing them to eighth on the all-time list.
Heading in as a favorite to the 2009 World Championships, Carmelita posted a lifetime best of 10.83, winning the second semifinal before finishing third in the final with a time of 10.90. 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.”
2010 proved to be another successful year for Carmelita. She become the USA Indoor champion in the 60m and finished first in six events that season. She also ranked #1 in the world by T&FN with a best of 10.82. The following year, Carmelita took home two gold medals in the 100m and the 4x100m relay, and a silver medal in the 200m at the World Championships in Daegu.
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.
In 2013, Carmelita returned to the track to compete in the 100m at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow, Russia. Carmelita went on to win a bronze medal in that 100m race all while competing with a torn right quadricep. An awe-inspiring achievement only fitting for The Jet.
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.
Carmelita is also passionate about supporting the communities where she was raised, both Compton and Gardena, California. In November 2014, Carmelita and her brother Eugene held their first Annual Thanksgiving Turkey Drive for the city of Gardena. This year Carmelita was also named an official Ambassador for the Healthy Compton, a city-wide three year initiative designed to promote healthy living among the residents of Compton, California.
Carmelita is currently training and preparing for the 2015 World Championships in Beijing, China this summer and the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Olympic Gold Medalist, 4x100m Relay
Olympic Silver Medalist, 100m
Olympic Bronze Medalist, 200m
US Trials 100m, 1st Place (10.92)
US Trials 200m, 2nd Place (22.11)
Jamaica Invitational, 100m, 1st Place
Penn Relays, 4 x 100m Relay, 1st Place
USA Outdoor Champion, 100m (10.74)
USA Outdoor, 200m, 2nd Place
World Outdoor Championship, 100m, 3rd Place (10.90)
World Outdoor, 200m, 2nd Place
Brussels, 100m, 1st Place
Stockholm, 100m, 1st Place
London, 100m, 1st Place
Pre Classic, 100m, 1st Place
Monaco, 200m, 1st Place
Doha, 100m, 2nd Place
Zurich, 100m, 1st Place
Monaco, 100m, 1st Place
World Championships, 4×100 Relay, Anchored, 1st Place
Diamond League Champion, 100m
Diamond League Champion, 200m
Diamond League Champion, 100m
USA Indoor Champion, 60m
World Indoor, 100m, 3rd Place
Pre Classic, 100m, 3rd Place
Lausanne, 100m, 1st Place
Gateshead, 100m, 1st Place
Kingston, 100m, 1st Place
Daegu, 100m, 1st Place
Shanghai, 100m, 1st Place
2010, Monaco, 100m, 1st Place
2010, Oslo, 200m, 1st Place
USA Outdoor Champion, 100m
World Outdoor, 100m, 3rd Place
Nike Prefontaine Classic, 100m, 1st Place
Adidas Track Classic, 100m, 1st Place
Reebok Grand Prix, 100m, 1st Place
If you would like something signed by Carmelita, please send a self-addressed stamped envelope to:
Carmelita Jeter c/o USA Track & Field
132 East Washington Street, Suite 800
Indianapolis, IN 46204
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