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Joan Benoit Biography »
Joan Benoit Samuelson (born May 16, 1957) is an American marathon runner who won gold at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, the year that the women's marathon was introduced. As a result, she was the first-ever women's Olympic marathon champion. Benoit Samuelson still holds the fastest times for an American woman at the Chicago Marathon and the Olympic Marathon. Her time at the Boston Marathon was the fastest time by an American woman at that race for 28 years.