Florence Griffith Joyner Sweetrocks Inspiring Woman
Florence Delorez Griffith Joyner, also known as Flo-Jo, was an American track and field athlete.
She is considered the fastest woman of all time based on the fact that the world records she set in 1988 for both the 100 m and 200 m still stand. During the late 1980s she became a popular figure in international track and field because of her record-setting performances and flashy personal style.
Beyond her running prowess, Griffith-Joyner was known for her bold fashion choices. Griffith-Joyner appeared at the World Championships in 1987 in Rome wearing a hooded speed skating body suit. In April 1988 she started wearing a running suit with the right leg of the suit extending to the ankle and the left leg of the suit cut off, a style she called the “one-legger”. The running suits also had bold colors such as lime green or purple with white bikini bottoms and embellished with lightning bolts.
Her nails also garnered attention for their length and designs. Her nails were four inches long with tiger stripes at the 1988 Olympic trials before switching to fuchsia. For the Olympic games themselves, Griffith-Joyner had six inch nails painted red, white, blue, and gold. Although many sprinters avoided accessories which might slow them down, Griffith-Joyner kept her hair long and wore jewelry while competing. She designed many of her outfits herself and preferred looks which were not conventional.
Griffith-Joyner was born and raised in California. She was athletic from a young age and began running track meets as a child. While attending California State University, Northridge (CSUN) and University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), she continued to compete in track and field. While still in college, Griffith-Joyner qualified for the 100 m 1980 Olympics, although she did not actually compete due to the U.S. boycott. She made her Olympic debut four years later, winning a silver medal in the 200 meter distance at the 1984 Olympics held in Los Angeles. At the 1988 U.S. Olympic trials, Griffith set a new world record in the 100 meter sprint. She went on to win three gold medals at the 1988 Olympics.
USA Track & Field inducted her into its Hall of Fame in 1995. In 2000, the 102nd Street School in Los Angeles was renamed Florence Griffith Joyner Elementary School. Griffith-Joyner had attended the school as a child.The city of Mission Viejo dedicated a park at the entrance to her neighborhood in her honor. Griffith-Joyner was also an artist and painter. Her work has been on display as part the Art of The Olympians (AOTO). She is one of two posthumous members of AOTO.
In February 1989, she abruptly retired. After her retirement from athletics, Griffith-Joyner remained a pop culture figure through endorsement deals, acting, and designing. She died in her sleep as the result of an epileptic seizure in 1998 at the age of 38.
Thank you Florence Griffith Joyner (#FlorenceGriffithJoyner) for being an Inspiring Woman!
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