Valerie Brisco-Hooks
Valerie Brisco-Hooks during the CCCAA State Championships in May 2012
Personal information
Born (1960-07-06) July 6, 1960 (age 63)
Greenwood, Mississippi
Country United States
Coached byBob Kersee
Medal record
Women's Athletics
Representing the  United States
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1984 Los Angeles 200 metres
Gold medal – first place 1984 Los Angeles 400 metres
Gold medal – first place 1984 Los Angeles 4x400 m relay
Silver medal – second place 1988 Seoul 4x400 m relay
World Championships
Bronze medal – third place 1987 Rome 4x400 m relay
Pan American Games
Gold medal – first place 1979 San Juan 4x100 m relay
Gold medal – first place 1987 Indianapolis 4x400 m relay

Valerie Brisco-Hooks (born Valerie Ann Brisco; 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.


Brisco-Hooks' 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. She coached with Bob Kersee's group of athletes and at West Los Angeles College.[citation needed]


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-Hooks guest-starred as herself in "Off to the Races," an episode from the second season of The Cosby Show. She ran against Cliff Huxtable (Bill Cosby) at the Penn Relays, filling in at the last minute for an injured member of a rival team during a relay race.[4]

Personal life

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]

She married NFL player Alvin Hooks in 1981.[6][7] Their son is Alvin Hooks, Jr. (b. 1982)[8] & Valerie's nephew, Amar Brisco, was a football cornerback in the 1990s at NCAA UNLV.[9] Valerie Brisco-Hooks with her son Alvin Jr. at the 1984 Olympic trials.

The California State University Northridge alumna 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.[10] 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 [11]


  1. ^ "Valerie Brisco-Hooks: Track & Field". Archived from the original on April 13, 2013.
  2. ^ "1984 Olympic Women's 400m final - Valerie Brisco-Hooks". YouTube. March 6, 2010. Archived from the original on August 13, 2013.
  3. ^ "Profile of Valerie BRISCO-HOOKS -". Retrieved August 4, 2017.
  4. ^ DOWNEY, MIKE (May 18, 1986). "She Plans to Check Out the Fallout in Advance". Retrieved August 4, 2017 – via LA Times.
  5. ^ Goldstein, Steve (January 8, 1986). "Slaney: Drug Use Is Still Running Rampant". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Archived from the original on April 12, 2014. Retrieved August 4, 2017.
  6. ^ "Valerie Ann Brisco-Hooks". Olympics. Retrieved June 8, 2024.
  7. ^ Castro, Tony. "After The Gold, Some Glitter". Sports Illustrated Vault | Retrieved June 8, 2024.
  8. ^ "Valerie Brisco-Hooks". Retrieved August 4, 2017.
  9. ^ "UNLVREBELS.COM Amar Brisco Bio - University of Nevada Las Vegas Official Athletic Site". Retrieved August 4, 2017.
  10. ^ "Valerie Brisco-Hooks Sports Foundation Inc - Los Angeles, California - Hospital - Facebook". Retrieved August 4, 2017.
  11. ^ Edelson, Paula (May 14, 2014). A to Z of American Women in Sports. Infobase Publishing. ISBN 9781438107899. Retrieved August 4, 2017 – via Google Books.