Olympic Champ the New Spokeswoman for Comcast’s Internet Essentials

Jackie Joyner-Kersee will help promote the company's low-cost Internet access program.

Jackie Joyner-Kersee, the newly-named spokeswoman for Comcast's Internet Essentials program.

Jackie Joyner-Kersee, the newly-named spokeswoman for Comcast’s Internet Essentials program.

It’s Summer Olympics season, but athletes and longtime champions are being recognized for accomplishments aside from their physical feats, too. Comcast announced today that it has enlisted Jackie Joyner-Kersee as the spokeswoman for its Internet Essentials program. Joyner-Kersee is a six-time Olympic gold medalist and has had a successful philanthropic career since retiring from Olympic competition in 1998.

Joyner-Kersee was the first woman to win back-to-back gold medals in the heptathlon (that’s the track-and-field competition that combines a whopping seven events: 100-meter hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200-meter dash, the long jump, javelin and 800-meter run). She is also the first African-American woman to win an Olympic medal in the long jump and the first woman to score 7,000 points in the heptathlon.

So what does this have to do with Comcast and Internet Essentials?

As we mentioned before, the all-time great has had an extensive philanthropic career. She founded the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation in the 1990s, for example, with a mission to provide recreational opportunities for underserved youth.

“The mission of my foundation is to inspire young people to develop the drive and determination to succeed in both academics and athletics,” said Joyner-Kersee in a statement. “In my community, I’ve seen first-hand that’s really hard to do if you’re on the wrong side of the digital divide. So, I’m excited to go on the road this year with Internet Essentials and help more kids and families cross that divide and develop to their fullest potential.”

Comcast’s senior executive vice president and chief diversity officer, David L. Cohen, said in a statement that Joyner-Keysee has inspired a younger generation to dream and lead. “We are thrilled to have Jackie help us close the digital divide and raise awareness about all that the internet has to offer students and families,” he said.

Joyner-Kercee will be going on a national road show throughout the 2016-2017 school year to promote the Internet Essentials program. The program is designed to give low-income homes Internet access for about $10 a month. Since its launch in 2011, it has brought Internet to more than 600,000 low-income families, as well as 48,000 schools, according to Comcast’s statement. Still, it only recently expanded its eligibility requirements to allow low-income families without children in the National School Lunch Program to participate. The program has also been criticized for struggling to get people to enroll.