“I was able to push from within, and I had an innate desire to succeed.” This is a direct quote from none other than Joan Benoit herself.
Joan Benoit is an American Senior Grand Master Marathon runner who has now retired. Joan is also known for being the first women’s Olympic Games marathon champion.
She landed her first gold medal at the 1984 Summer Olympics. This was one year later after she won gold at the Pan American Games.
Her achievements are endless, and she has held onto the record time at Boston and Chicago Marathon for more than twenty and thirty years, respectively.
Despite her successful career, she has not once lost focus on her family. On the contrary, she has proved to be a devoted mother at all times.
If you are familiar with the Olympics, you have probably already heard of her name. And if you haven’t, this is the article for you since it consists of all that there is to know about Joan Benoit.
Here are some quick facts about the amazing Joan Benoit.
|Full name||Joan Benoit Samuelson|
|Date of birth||16th of May in 1957|
|Age||66 Years Old|
|Birthplace||Cape Elizabeth, Maine, U.S.|
|Education||North Carolina state university|
|Father’s name||Andre Benoit|
|Mother’s name||Nancy Benoit|
|Height||5 feet and 2 inches|
|Children||One daughter and one son|
|Net Worth||$1.5 million|
|Debut year||1979 AD|
|Nike’s merch||Tanjun Sneakers, Hoodie, Autograph Pictures|
|Last Update||September, 2023|
Joan Benoit: Early Life
Joan was born on the 16th of May, 1957. She was born and raised in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, USA.
Her father’s name is Andre Benoit, and her mother’s name is Nancy Benoit.
Moreover, her father was a ski trooper in the second world war, and her mother was an athlete.
Joan has three other siblings. All of them were older brothers.
Growing up, her parents emphasized two things. One of them being religion and the other being skiing.
The Benoit children always attended the Church in their skiing clothes because they would go skiing right after.
But after having an accident at the Slalom gate on a ski run at the age of fifteen, she never dared to ski at such speed.
Her passion for athletics was on the brink, but she recovered eventually.
We do not know where she went to high school in Maine, but it was a local high school. There she played field hockey and track.
She trained excessively in track to rehabilitate her broken leg. And she went on to become a high-school track star.
Her track performance earned her a spot at Bowdoin College. She was granted a full scholarship, but soon she transferred since she was unhappy with the track team.
She transferred to the North Carolina State University on a running scholarship. It was where she earned All America honors in 1977 and 1978.
The athlete led the track team of Wolfpack to Atlantic Cross Country Championship.
In her time at North Carolina, she also won the Broderick Award for being the Best Female Collegiate Cross Country Runner in 1979.
For her senior year in college, she returned to Bowdoin College, where she earned her degree.
Joan Benoit: Personal Life
Joan is an American citizen. She is an avid Christian by faith.
Born in May, Joan is a Taurus when it comes to zodiac charts. Taurus is an earth sign.
Taurus people have traits such as being hardworking, meticulous, stubborn, intelligent, dependable, and humble.
Joan is the perfect example of Taurus as she puts her whole heart into something she is passionate about.
Joan is married to Scott Samuelson. Joan met Scott during her college days.
They started dating and became college sweethearts. After she returned victorious from her Olympic trip, the couple decided to get married.
So in the September of 1984, Joan and Scott got married in a private setting. Only close family and friends were invited to bless the couple.
The couple has been joyously married for over three decades. There have been no rumors of an affair or conflict of any sort.
Within a few years of marriage, the couple was blessed with two children, Abigail Samuelson and Anders Samuelson.
Joan was determined to be the best mother, so she gave up the 1988 Olympics to look after her two children.
Joan’s priority was her kids. Anders has followed in his mother’s footsteps and studied at Bowdoin College.
The entire family now resides together in the native hometown of Benoit in Maine.
Joan Benoit: Professional Career
Benoit started her career right after college in 1979 when she ran in the Boston Marathon.
She won her first marathon eight minutes off the competition record.
Two years before her career, she had surgery on her Achillies tendon, yet she continued to break the record at London Marathon.
Just seventeen days before Olympics Trails in 1984, Joan Benoit underwent arthroscopic knee surgery. She recovered at a fascinating speed and qualified.
She competed in the Olympics held in Los Angeles three months later, where she won gold in the marathon with a record of 2:24:52 time.
Joan has won the Falmouth Races six times in a row in 1976, 1978, 1981, 1982, 1983, and 1985. In addition, she broke her own record four times.
In 1985, she won the Chicago Marathon with a time of 2:21:21, which remained a record for the next twenty-three years.
She took the Olympics off in 1984 and 1988. And did not qualify when she tried out for the 2004 season.
In 2003 she ran in the Maine- half marathon, where she won. In addition, Benoit has run in the New York City Marathon with a time of 2:49:09.
Joan ran in the Boston Marathon in 2011, where she landed the 1st position in her age group.
She ran the 2014 Boston Marathon with her children, which was legendary.
Joan was awarded the James E Sullivan Award as the top amateur athlete in the United States in 1985.
In 1998, the athlete founded the Beach to Beacon 10k race in her native Maine, attracting thousands of runners worldwide.
Her high school track has been named Joan Benoit Samuelson Track and Field after her.
In addition, she is currently coaching cross-country runners and long-distance athletes.
Joan’s voice is also used as a congratulatory voice in the Nike and iPod system. In addition, she was inducted into the Maine Hall of Fame in 2000.
Joan had also been inducted into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame in 2004. A decade later, Joan was inducted into the USTAF Hall of Fame.
In the recent year, a plaque honoring her was established at the LA Memorial Coliseum’s court of honor.
Joan Benoit: Controversy
Unlike other athletes, Joan has hardly ever gotten herself into controversy. She has remained doping allegation-free throughout her career.
But the controversy surrounding her started in a Boston marathon when a man with no.14 on his chest started hovering around her.
The man was wearing a microphone on his chest that people could barely see.
Apparently, the man was a runner by the name of Kevin Ryan, who WBZ TV hired to provide the full coverage of the leading woman in the Boston Marathon.
A similar tactic has been used in the past by Sports Illustrated and The New York Times.
The problem arose when he paced around her, which is illegal according to The Athletic Congress.
However, this did not make Joan Benoit’s time invalid, fortunately, but it was highly controversial at the time.
Joan Benoit: Net Worth
Being the headliner to most marathons and even at the Olympics made Joan Benoit very popular. Her fame has earned her wealth over the years.
Joan Benoit has a worth of 1.5 million us dollars.
Her exact salary has not been disclosed. But during her days, she ran a campaign for Nike, which paid her handsomely.
Along with that, she did brand endorsement for many sports brands. Her public appearance has also earned her some fortune.
We can clearly say that she lives a very comfortable life in her home in Maine with her earnings.
Joan Benoit: Physical Appearance
When it comes to height, Joan is five feet and two inches tall. She weighs around 45 kgs.
She has a very petite body and has maintained her healthy physique throughout the years. Even in her early sixties, she has a healthy body.
Joan Benoit Samuelson follows a Samuelson diet as she eats whatever she thinks is important and appreciates her food.
Her exact body measurement and her shoe size details are unknown.
She used to have black hair, which has now turned gray. She has brown eyes.
Joan’s distinct feature must be her short hair. In addition, she has a fair skin complexion.
Joan Benoit: Social Media
Joan only uses Instagram. Her Instagram is a verified account. She has over 61.2 thousand followers.
Talking about social media, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care covered Joan’s story about her difficulties and life.
When did Joan Benoit win the Boston Marathon?
Joan Benoit won the Boston Marathon with the legendary time of 2:35:15 in 1979.
Is Joan Benoit still alive?
Yes, Joan Benoit is still alive.
How Old is Joanie Benoit Samuelson?
Joanie Benoit Samuelson is currently 66 Years Old.
Who was the first woman to win the Olympic marathon?
Joan Benoit was the first one to win the First Women’s Marathon Gold.