Joetta Clark-Diggs

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameJoetta•Clark-Diggs
Used nameJoetta•Clark-Diggs
Born1 August 1962 in East Orange, New Jersey (USA)
Measurements168 cm / 56 kg
AffiliationsTennessee Volunteers, Knoxville (USA) / Athletics West, Eugene (USA) / Foot Locker Athletic Club, New York (USA)
NOC United States


A four-time Olympian, Joetta Clark was primarily an 800 metre runner who attended the University of Tennessee, where she won nine collegiate titles, including relays. She was a five-time US Champion outdoors and won seven US Indoor titles. Internationally Clark made the final of the 1992 Olympic 800 metres, won a gold medal at the 1980 Pan American Junior Championships, and took bronze in the 800 at the 1993 World Indoor Championships. She was ranked in the world top 10 six times, with a high ranking of #4 in 1998, at age 36.

Clark came from one of the first families of track & field in the United States. She was coached by her brother, J. J. Clark, the women’s head coach at UT. Her sister, Hazel, was also a top 800 metre runner, who ran that event at the 2000, 2004, and 2008 Olympics. J. J.’s wife, Jearl Miles-Clark was a top 400-800 runner and was a four-time Olympian in those events. The family was raised in northern New Jersey in difficult times, as race riots affected that area in the late 1960s. Their father was Joe Clark, a renowned educator who was principal at Eastside High School in Paterson, New Jersey, and was the subject of the movie “Lean on Me” for his strict disciplinary methods.

Joetta Clark-Diggs later earned a graduate degree in recreation administration. She has worked as a motivational speaker and consultant on health and fitness to corporations, colleges, and civic organizations. She founded and is the Executive Director of Joetta Clark-Diggs Sports Foundation, which promotes physical activity for children.

In 1998 Clark-Diggs was chosen by Sports Illustrated as a Hometown Hero. She is a member of multiple halls of fame, including the New Jersey Hall of Fame, Class (2013), the USA Track & Field Hall of Fame (2009), the Penn Relays Hall of Fame (2004), the University of Tennessee Hall of Fame, and the Millrose Games Hall of Fame at Madison Square Garden (2002).

Personal Best: 800 – 1:57.84 (1998).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1988 Summer Olympics Athletics USA Joetta Clark
800 metres, Women (Olympic) 7 h1 r2/3
1992 Summer Olympics Athletics USA Joetta Clark
800 metres, Women (Olympic) 7
1996 Summer Olympics Athletics USA Joetta Clark
800 metres, Women (Olympic) 3 h4 r1/3
2000 Summer Olympics Athletics USA Joetta Clark-Diggs
800 metres, Women (Olympic) 8 h2 r2/3

Olympic family relations

Special Notes