Tuesday is ‘Brittney Reese Day’ in honor of local Olympic long jumper

SAN DIEGO -- The City Council proclaimed Tuesday to be “Brittney Reese Day'' in San Diego in honor of the athlete's silver medal finish in the long jump at the Olympics last month in Rio de Janeiro.

Reese, who took gold in the event four years ago in London, is a coach at San Diego Mesa College and trains at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista.

She provides college scholarships to high school seniors in Gulfport, Mississippi, where she grew up, through her Brittney Reese Foundation. She's also an ambassador for U.S. Track & Field's Team for Tomorrow program, which promotes healthy lifestyles for youth and adults.

“I love to inspire kids,'' Reese said. “A little quote that I like is `aspire to inspire.'''

City Councilwoman Myrtle Cole said Reese's contributions “go above the confines of track and field'' and positively affect the lives of many athletes and residents in San Diego.

In Rio, she jumped 7.15 meters to finish second behind teammate Tianna Bartoletta, who leapt 7.17 meters -- or more than 23 feet. In London, she flew 7.12 meters to become the first American woman to win the Olympic long jump title since Jackie Joyner-Kersee in 1988.

Reese finished fifth in 2008 in Beijing. She also has a handful of indoor and outdoor world championships to her credit.