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Valerie Brisco-Hooks
Valerie Brisco-Hooks during the CCCAA State Championships in May 2012
Personal information
Born (1960-07-06) July 6, 1960 (age 62)
Greenwood, Mississippi
Country United States
Coached byBob Kersee

Valerie Ann Brisco-Hooks (born July 6, 1960, in Greenwood, Mississippi) is an Olympian who won three gold medals as an Olympic track and field athlete at the 1984 Olympics at Los Angeles, California, making her the first Olympian to win gold medals in both the 200- and 400-meter races at a single Olympics.


Valerie's outstanding high school performance led her to the collegiate level of track and field at California State University, Northridge. She continued to excel, winning the 200-meter title at the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) Championships and earning a spot on the U.S. team for the 1979 Pan American Games, where she helped her 4 × 100-meter relay team win the gold medal.[1]

Her 400 metres time of 48.83,[2] set while winning the 1984 Olympics was at the time the Olympic record and still ranks her as the tenth fastest woman of all time. She also won a gold medal for the 4 × 400 m. Brisco competed in the 1988 Olympic Games, which took place in Seoul, South Korea, running on the American 4x400 meter-relay team, which finished in second place (but below the older record, also), behind the Soviet team that broke the 4x400 meter-relay world record. To this date, the American time possesses the second-fastest 4x400 relay of all time, behind only the Soviet winner of that race.

Brisco-Hooks is currently coaching with the Bob Kersee group of athletes and at West Los Angeles College.


3 x Olympic Games Gold medallist
1 x Olympic Games Silver medallist
1 x World Championships Bronze medallist
5 x Olympic Games finalist
1 x World Championships finalist
1 x Current NACAC Record holder - 4 × 400 m

Personal Bests

Event Result Wind Venue Date
50m individual 6.24 Rosemont (USA) 16.02.1986
100m 10.99 +1.3 Westwood (USA) 17.05.1986
200m 21.81 -0.1 Los Angeles (USA) 09.08.1984
200m indoor 22.83 New York (USA) 22.02.1985
300m 35.47 Seoul (KOR) 26.09.1988
400m 48.83 Los Angeles (USA) 06.08.1984
400m indoor 52.31 Fairfax (USA) 14.02.1988
4 × 400 m 3:15.51 Seoul (KOR) 01.10.1988

Television guest appearance

Brisco races Cliff (Bill Cosby) at the Penn Relays in The Cosby Show episode[4] Off to the Races, first aired Thursday May 8, 1986, on NBC.

Personal life

Valerie Brisco in 2016
Valerie Brisco in 2016

Valerie Brisco-Hooks, who won three gold medals at the 1984 Summer Olympics, gained over 40 pounds during her pregnancy and did not resume training until well after her child was born in 1982.[5] Husband: Alvin Hooks[6] (NFL football player, m. 1981), Son: Alvin Hooks, Jr. (b. 1982)[7] & Valerie's nephew, Amar Brisco, was a football cornerback in the 1990s at NCAA UNLV.[8]
Valerie Brisco-Hooks with her son Alvin Jr. at the 1984 Olympic trials.

The West Athens Elementary, Locke High School, California State University Northridge Alum was inducted in the United States Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1995. Valerie Brisco-Hooks Sports Foundation Inc is located at 1138 E 71st St Los Angeles, California 90001.[9] She became an advocate for drug-free schools and actively sought out opportunities to interact with students in the classroom to convey her message. She made time in her training and competition schedule because she felt so passionately about making a difference.
It was not until meeting Jackie Joyner Kersee that she changed her work ethic [10]

As a young girl she moved with her family from the rural south to the urban Watts neighborhood in Los Angeles. She was inspired to run by her older brothers, Robert and Melvin Brisco. Robert and Melvin were finishing a hard workout at their high school track late one day, when the violence of the neighborhood struck and a stray bullet shot from a gun held by a ninth-grader killed Robert.


  1. ^
  2. ^ "- YouTube". YouTube.
  3. ^ "Profile of Valerie BRISCO-HOOKS -". Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  4. ^ DOWNEY, MIKE (18 May 1986). "She Plans to Check Out the Fallout in Advance". Retrieved 4 August 2017 – via LA Times.
  5. ^ "Archives -". Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  6. ^ "Alvin Hooks". Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  7. ^ "Valerie Brisco-Hooks". Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  8. ^ "UNLVREBELS.COM Amar Brisco Bio - University of Nevada Las Vegas Official Athletic Site". Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  9. ^ "Valerie Brisco-Hooks Sports Foundation Inc - Los Angeles, California - Hospital - Facebook". Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  10. ^ Edelson, Paula (14 May 2014). A to Z of American Women in Sports. Infobase Publishing. ISBN 9781438107899. Retrieved 4 August 2017 – via Google Books.