Case 6

Florence Griffith Joyner

"FloJo" Fastest Woman of All Time

Florence Griffith Joyner   (1959-1998)

Nickname: Flo-Jo

 

Florence Griffith Joyner was an American track and field star.  Her two world records at the 1988 Summer Olympics for the 100 and 200-meter events still hold today.  

 

Joyner grew up in public housing in the Watts area of Los Angeles and by the end of high school in 1978, she had set records for sprinting and high jump.   Unable to compete in 1980 because of the USA Olympic boycott, she achieved silver in 1984 and three gold in 1988.   She designed many of her outfits and sported jewelry and long designer fingernails even when she competed.  

 

She became a pop culture figure because of her interest in bold fashion and retired in 1989 to pursue her some business opportunities.  Only ten years after her record setting Olympics, Florence died unexpectedly from an epileptic seizure during the night at the age of 38.