Olympics Medal is considered the holy grail of athletic achievements. The gold medalists are recognized as the benchmark of human capability.
Similarly, in the 2016 Olympics, long jumper Jeff Henderson dazzled everyone with his soaring long jump.
In the cutthroat competition, Jeffery emerged victorious, surpassing his competition by just 1 centimeter. And just like that, he created history for himself and his home country USA.
As the 2020 Olympics begins, everyone is looking forward to seeing if Jeffery brings the same magic to the ground.
The gold medalist was athletically inclined since his childhood. His mother frequently took him to sports meets which sparked an interest within him.
Combining his natural gift with relentless hard work, Jeffery made his way from a glorious collegiate career to winning the big Olympic finals.
This article will revisit Jeff’s life story, humble beginnings, career, and relationships. But first, here are some interesting quick facts:
|Full Name||Jeffery Henderson|
|Common Name||Jeff Henderson|
|Birthdate||19 February 1989|
|Age||34 years old|
|Mother’s Name||Debra Henderson|
|Father’s Name||Laverne Henderson|
|Siblings||Four elder siblings|
|Birthplace||North Little Rock, Arkansas|
|Home Town||North Little Rock, Arkansas|
|Residence||Chula Vista, California|
|School||Sylvan Hills High School ’09|
|College||Stillman College ‘13|
|Education||Bachelors in Business Administration|
|Height||1.81 m (6 feet)|
|Weight||81 kg (178 lb)|
|Olympics Wins||One gold (2016 Rio Olympics)|
|Achievements||2015 Pan Am (Gold), 2019 World Athletics (Silver)|
|Personal Best||8.58m (2015 Pan Am Games)|
|Team||Team Adidas, Team USA|
|Net Worth||$1 million|
|Social Media||Facebook, Twitter, Instagram|
|Merch||Jeff Henderson Book|
Jeff Henderson | Early Life and Family
Jeff Henderson was born on the 19th of February in 1989 in North Little Rock, Arkansas, United States. His parents are Laverne Henderson and Debra Henderson. He is the youngest among five siblings.
Jeff developed an interest in sports in his early childhood. As a result, the Henderson siblings spent a lot of time playing football in the neighborhood.
Moreover, Jeff used to compete in youth football and even played for his school team.
Later, Henderson transitioned into the track and chose to remain in the sport after he recognized how well he was at it. By his senior year, he was fully committed to track and field.
In 2007, he became class 6A long jump champion by jumping a remarkable 23’11”. In the same year, he jumped 24’0” to break the meet of champs record.
Jeff Henderson | Track and Field Career
After showing his abilities in school, he made a promising start to his collegiate career. In 2007, Henderson enrolled in the Hinds community in Raymond, Mississippi.
During a couple of years there, he had already become a collegiate track and field sensation.
In 2008 and 2009, the athlete was the winner of the national junior college athletic association title in the outdoor long jump. Similarly, he also won the indoor title in 2008 and in 2009.
Furthermore, the Olympian also won a national title in 4*100 meters.
Following Hinds, he transferred to Florida Memorial University in Garden City from 2010 to 2011. At college, Henderson maintained his success streak intact by winning a plethora of other competitions.
For example, he was the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) national champion in the indoor 60-m dash. Similarly, he was an all-American in the men’s 100-m dash and men’s long jump.
But unfortunately, the talented athlete got into a disagreement with the athletic department of the college regarding the treatment of an injury.
Following that, the gold medalist transferred to Stillman College, Alabama.
He won the all-American status at NCAA (national collegiate athletic association) Division II men’s outdoor track and field championships by winning the 100-m dash and the long jump.
Pro Career and Olympics
After the Olympian graduated in 2013 with a degree in business administration, his pro career has just begun.
He moved to California, took up Al Joyner (a former gold medalist in the triple jump) as his coach, and sponsored Adidas.
In 2014, Jeff was the winner of the long jump at the USA track and field outdoor championship. He continued his remarkable feat in the 2015 Pan American games.
As the 2016 Olympics approached near, Jeff started concentrating on a new achievement on his record. As he aced the trials, all the eyes were on the talented athlete.
In the qualification for the Olympic finale, Henderson jumped his and the Olympics’ best, a wind-aided 28-214, leaving everyone in awe.
He took the lead on his first jump for the finals, but subsequently, the other three competitors passed him. The situation looked tough, but the gold medalist did a fabulous 27-6 on his final attempt and won a gold.
It was an overwhelming moment for the USA as it was the first gold in the Olympic long jump since 2004 Athens. To make the moment more emotional, Jeff dedicated his victory to his mother, who has Alzheimer’s.
The next big event after Rio Olympics was probably the 2019 Doha World Athletics championship. Jeff slipped to a silver medal in the final event while Tajay Gayle of Jamaica took the gold home.
There were barely any competitions in 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic. Jeff took it as an opportunity to prepare for the Tokyo Olympics.
Although he was ready to bring the gold back this year, luck wasn’t on his side as he finished in the sixth place at 8.08m.
Jeff Henderson | Body Measurement and Fitness
To be an Olympian means being in the prime of your physical fitness. Years of training, running, and jumping have made Jeff a powerful and fit man.
Henderson has a height of 1.83m, with long legs that give him an advantage while leaping. At 81 kgs, his muscular body is well equipped to take a quick run before leaping high.
He goes through a strict training regime and a special diet to keep his body agile and minimize any chance of injuries.
Jeff Henderson | Relationships and Personal Life
As of 2021, Jeff is unmarried. The athlete is a private person and does not talk about his personal affairs very much.
Meanwhile, he is also not very active on social media. So, we can not say for sure if he is in any relationship right now.
As he is at the peak of his career, the gold medalist has heavily dedicated his time to training and participating in competitions.
Furthermore, the Olympian is very close to his parents, mostly to his mother. Debra Henderson has been battling Alzheimer’s for a long time now.
His mom was diagnosed in her early 50s and is now in the final stage of the disease. The condition has gotten so worse that she struggles to walk and talk.
The loving son, Jeff, does not miss any chance to show his gratefulness to his mother. He has said that he only thinks of two-person when he is playing, himself and his mom.
Meanwhile, the jumper is not obsessed with his competitors. After all, the biggest competition is always with yourself.
Jeff Henderson | Social Media Presence
Facebook: 19k followers
Instagram: 33.6k followers
Twitter: 14.8k followers
Jeff Henderson | Net Worth and Endorsements
Jeff Henderson has a net worth of almost $1 million.
Being a track and field superstar has provided him with an adequate amount of sponsorships and endorsement deals.
Otherwise, athletes, even the Olympic gold medalist, do not make a staggering amount of money.
Fortunately for Jeff, he has dealt with the likes of Adidas. So, though it is not a lot, Jeff has earned a comfortable life for himself.
Besides his major sponsor Adidas, he has endorsed 5150nut butter, red bull, hydrogen water, etc.
Besides being an athlete, Jeff has also forayed into the business world. The athlete recently launched a clothing line with his designs.
Jeff loves drawing and creating 2D characters. Moreover, he used this ability to design graphic t-shirts sold under his brand ‘the moment.’
The brand is called the moment because Jeff believes a moment is enough to do awesome every day!
Another interest Jeff had earlier was architecture. For a while during college, he tried to take architecture classes and jumping, but it did not work out well for him. So he turned towards drawing and creating characters.
As of 2023, Jeff lives in Chula Vista, California. Although he is originally from Arkansas, being in California makes sense because it is close to the Olympic training center.
Jeff Henderson | Frequently Asked Questions
Is Jeff Henderson playing in the Tokyo Olympics?
The defending Olympic long jump champion, Jeff, played in Tokyo Olympics, where he finished in the sixth position. The 32 years old athlete aims to represent Team USA at the 2024 Olympics as well.
Who is Jeff Henderson dating?
There is no public information about the dating history of Jeff Henderson. So we can assume that he is single and devoted to his career.