Florence Griffith-Joyner is heartbroken over the …..

Joyner, Florence
Florence Joyner, also known as “Flo Jo,” was a sprinter who won gold at the Olympics, set world records in the 100 and 200 meters, and added flair to the track with her form-fitting bodysuits and her 6-inch fingernails.
Florence Joyner: Who Was She?

Fast Facts
The Formative Years of a College Champion
Olympic medallist and holder of world records
Classic Hair and Nails
Retirement and Disagreement
Father and Daughter
Flo Jo’s Demise: Upcoming Films featuring Flo Jo Quotes

Florence Joyner: Who Was She?
Olympic sprinter Florence Joyner, popularly known as “Flo Jo,” was an American sportswoman. She took home a silver medal in the 200-meter run at the Summer Olympics in 1984. Afterwards, she wed Al Joyner, a fellow Olympian and the brother of renowned athlete Jackie Joyner-Kersee. She established current world records in the 100- and 200-meter events in 1988. Joyner won three gold and one silver medal at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. When reports surfaced that she may have used performance-enhancing drugs to improve her times, she and her coach, Bob Kersee, became the subject of media speculation. Joyner vehemently refuted these charges, which were never validated. Joyner passed away suddenly in September 1998 at the age of 38 following

The Formative Years of a College Champion
Florence Joyner, popularly referred to as “Flo Jo,” was born in Los Angeles on December 21, 1959, as Florence Delorez Griffith. Joyner developed a remarkable knack for speed as soon as she started running at the age of 7. She won the Jesse Owens National Youth Games at the age of 14. Later on, she raced at the collegiate level for Jordan High School, where she was the team captain and anchor.

She ran for the track team at California State University at Northridge, where she was coached for a number of years by Bob Kersee. Joyner dropped out of school in 1980 due to financial difficulties, but she later enrolled at the University of California, Los Angeles, where Kersee had just been hired as an assistant track coach. She became well-known as a track star very soon. She won the 200-meter event in 1982 to become an NCAA champion. She won the 400-meter competition the following year. She earned her psychology degree in 1983.

Olympic medallist and holder of world records

During her sprinting career, Florence Joyner, pictured here at the 1988 Olympics, set two world records and won five medals at the Olympics.
Joyner made her Olympic debut in 1984 at the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, under the guidance of Bob Kersee. There, she won a silver medal in the 200-meter run and gained notoriety for her quickness, skimpy bodysuits, and vividly colored 6-inch fingernails.

Joyner went into semi-retirement after the 1984 Olympics, but she picked up track again in the run-up to the 1988 Games and made a fresh commitment to training. Flo Jo trained under Kersee and her husband Al during this time, and Joyner’s diligence paid off. With a time of 10.49 seconds, she broke the previous women’s world record in the 100-meter run at the 1988 U.S. Olympic trials in Indianapolis. She chose her spouse to be her full-time coach shortly after dropping Kersee.

She won gold in the 4-by-100 meter relay, silver in the 4-by-400 meter relay, and gold in the 100- and 200-meter runs at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. In addition, she ran a 200-meter personal best, clocking in at 21.34 seconds.

Joyner received numerous other honors as a result of her Olympic performance. She won the titles of Athlete of the Year from Track and Field magazine and Female Athlete of the Year from the Associated Press. The Sullivan Award for best amateur athlete went to Joyner as well.

Classic Hair and Nails
Flo Jo gained notoriety for her strong sense of style during her time as an athlete. She had a daring sense of style and incredible inventiveness even as a young child. She tried on her mother’s gowns, sewed clothes for her dolls, and was once asked to leave a mall for accessorizing with a pet snake around her neck. She used her creativity as an adult to do her friends’ nails and hairstyles.

Joyner’s outfits on the track were legendary. She became known for wearing unitards with bold colors, like turquoise, purple, and yellow, and unique design elements, like hoods or fabric covering only one leg. She also upended convention by competing while wearing jewelry, sporting long, brightly painted fingernails, and leaving her hair down.

Retirement and Controversy

After the 1988 Olympics, Joyner retired from competition. Suspicions soon arose regarding how the so-called “world’s fastest woman” achieved her victories. Joyner and her coach, Bob Kersee, came under media speculation when another athlete suggested that Joyner had used performance-enhancing drugs. Some attributed the substantial improvements Joyner made in her performance levels from 1984 to 1988 to illegal substances. Others thought that her incredibly muscular physique had to have been created with the help of performance-enhancing drugs.

Rumors also spread regarding Kersee’s training techniques, suggesting he could have been encouraging his runners to use steroids or other drugs in order to win medals. Joyner always insisted that she never used performance enhancers, and she never failed a drug test. In fact, according to CNN.com, Joyner took and passed 11 drug tests in 1988 alone.

Joyner remained involved in athletics in her retirement. She was appointed co-chair of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness in 1993 and went on to establish her own foundation for children in need. Nearly six years after the Seoul Olympics, in 1995, Joyner was honored with an induction into the Track and Field Hall of Fame. Around this time, she once again began training for the Olympics. But her comeback effort was curtailed by problems with her right Achilles tendon.

She also pursued creative endeavors, including acting. In 1989, the noted fashion icon was hired to design the uniforms for the Indiana Pacers basketball team. The Pacers used her design for seven seasons, coinciding with the team’s rise to prominence in the early to mid-nineties.

In 1987, Florence Griffith married Al Joyner, the 1984 triple jump Olympic gold medalist and brother of famed athlete Jackie Joyner-Kersee. Taking the legal name Florence Delorez Griffith-Joyner, she became publicly known as Florence Joyner, or “Flo Jo,” at this time.

Al and Florence first met in 1980 at the U.S. Olympic trials in Eugene, Oregon. Al was immediately smitten, but the two didn’t start dating until 1986, when Al came to Los Angeles to train for the 1988 Olympics.

Al proposed to Joyner on July 17, 1987, and the couple initially planned to get married later the following year. However, an earthquake struck Los Angeles on October 1, and Flo Jo was spooked—she was suddenly afraid of dying before getting married. So they drove to Las Vegas and were married on October 10, 1987.

On November 13, 1990, the couple’s only child, Mary, was born. As a child, Mary competed in gymnastics and displayed a talent for singing—something her mother always yearned for. As she grew older, Mary also dabbled in track. Al continued coaching, including stints at UCLA and the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California. He remarried in 2003.

Mary pursued a career as a singer, and she even appeared on America’s Got Talent in 2012. She also co-wrote and produced Flo Jo: A Daughter’s Love, a short documentary about her mother, which was released in 2023. She launched Flo-Jo Forever, a business promoting her mother’s legacy, and also works as a gymnastics instructor.

Flo Jo’s Death

Joyner died unexpectedly of an epileptic seizure on September 21, 1998, at her home in Mission Viejo, California. She was only 38 years old at the time and was survived by her husband, Al, and their daughter, Mary Joyner.

Upcoming Movies about Flo Jo

In 2021, a new biopic on Joyner was announced, with actor and comedian Tiffany Haddish producing the film and playing Joyner. Haddish grew up idolizing the track star. “I am looking forward to telling Flo-Jo’s story the way it should be told,” Haddish said in a statement. “My goal with this film is making sure that younger generations know my ‘she-ro’ Flo-Jo, the fastest woman in the world to this day, existed.”

Joyner’s widower, Al Joyner, is also a part of the project. He’s credited as a producer and creative consultant, and he’s helping Haddish train using the same methods his wife once used. “Working with Tiffany has been a great pleasure,” Al told Variety. “She is incredibly dedicated, focused, and committed to portraying the spirit of Florence accurately.”

A documentary series and podcast about Joyner are also planned in addition to the film.

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