Florence Delorez Griffith Joyner (December 21, 1959 – September 21, 1998) was an Olympic gold medalist. She was also known as Flo-Jo. Joyner is considered the fastest woman of all time, still holding both world records for 100 m and 200 m events. She was a person who wanted to make a fashion statement while running so fast that you could even barely see the outfit she wore. She retired after the 1988 Olympics. In 1998, she died unexpectedly of an epileptic seizure at her home in Mission Viejo, California. She was 38 years old at the time.
Greatest Sporting Achievements
Joyner won a silver medal during the 1984 Summer Olympics in the 200-m run. She took home three gold medals and a silver during the 1988 Summer Olympics held in Seoul, South Korea. She was named The Associated Press’ “Female Athlete of the Year”, Track and Field magazine’s “Athlete of the Year” and earlier, she even won the Sullivan Award for best amateur athlete. She took home a gold and silver medal for the 1987 Rome World Championships for the 4x100 m and 200 m events respectfully. Florence Griffith was inducted into the Track and Field Hall of Fame.
Why Was She So Good?
Florence Griffith Joyner took pride on her outrageous look, wearing form-fitting bodysuits of lace, something fluorescent or something bearing one leg, four to six-inch fingernails that became a trademark. She had incredible lightning speed while running without the help of performance-enhancing drugs. She was the fastest, still is the fastest, since she continues to hold 2 world records for 2 events. Part of her victory was because of her coaches, Bob Kersee, Jackie Joyner-Kersee’s future husband.
What You May Not Know
- Griffith Joyner graduated from UCLA with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology.
- There had been allegations that she used performance-enhancement drugs but she was repeatedly tested during competition and didn’t fail any of the drug tests.
- Florence Griffith Joyner remained involved in athletics after her retirement – appointed co-chair of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness in 1993 and established her own foundation for children in need.
- She started training again for the Olympics around the time she was inducted into the Hall of Fame but had problems with her right Achilles tendon.
Was she a legend?
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