Florence Griffith “Flo-Jo” Joyner


Florence Griffith “Flo-Jo” Joyner Famous memorial

Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Death 21 Sep 1998 (aged 38)
Mission Viejo, Orange County, California, USA
Burial Lake Forest, Orange County, California, USA
Plot Los Alisos, 34/4/4,
Memorial ID 6706 View Source

Olympic Games Gold Medalist Athlete. Born Delorez Florence Griffith the daughter of Florence and Robert Griffith, a teacher and an electrical technician receptively. At the age of seven, she won the Sugar Ray Robinson Youth Foundation running competition, at fourteen, she won the Jesse Owens National Youth Games competition. In 1980, she tried out for the Olympics, where she first met her future husband, triple jumper Al Joyner. She failed to make the team that year but in 1982, she won the 200-meter race at the National Collegiate Athletic Association championship, and the following year won the 400-meter event at the NCAA. It was during this period that her flamboyant persona emerged, appearing at meets sporting inches long painted fingernails and one-legged bodysuits. She received a degree in psychology in 1983 from UCLA. At the 1984 Olympic trials, she won a spot on the track team for the Los Angeles Games and won a silver medal in the 200-meter race. Disappointed, she reduced her training schedule and went to work as a bank clerk and as a beautician, sharing her signature look in nails and hairstyles. In 1986, she moved to Los Angeles to train again for the Olympics. At the 1987 World Games in Italy, she won the silver in the 200-meter race and the gold as a member of the 400-meter relay team. At the 1988 Olympic trials, she set a world record in the 100-meter sprint, 10.49 seconds, beating the old record by 0.27 second, an unprecedented achievement that remains unbeaten. At the Games in Seoul, Korea, she achieved remarkable performances and won three gold medals in the 100 meters, 200 meters, at 21.34 seconds, setting another standing record, and 4 × 100-meter relay, and a silver in the 4 × 400-meter relay. She never failed a drug test. Her success teamed with her flamboyance made her a media darling and she was dubbed 'Flo Jo' by the press. That year she also received the Sullivan Award as the nation's top amateur performer as well as being named the U.S. Olympic Committee's Sportswoman of the Year, Jesse Owens Outstanding Track and Field Athlete, Sports Personality of the Year by the Tass News Agency, UPI Sportswoman of the Year, Associated Press Sportswoman of the Year, and Track and Field Magazine's Athlete of the Year. She retired following the Games in Seoul and tried her hand at design, producing the uniforms of the Indiana Pacers of the National Basketball Association, developed a clothing line, and created nail products. In 1990, she suffered her first grand mal seizure which remained un-diagnosed; others followed in 1993 and 1994. She served as co-chair of the President's Council on Physical Fitness from 1993 to 1995, and established a foundation for underprivileged children. She was inducted into the Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1995. An attempt at a comeback in 1996 ended after an injury, and that year she suffered a seizure during a flight, and was hospitalized briefly. At age 38, she succumbed to asphyxia following a grand mal seizure, the result of a congenital abnormality known as cavernous angioma.

Bio by: Iola


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 17 Oct 1999
  • Find a Grave Memorial ID: 6706
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Florence Griffith “Flo-Jo” Joyner (21 Dec 1959–21 Sep 1998), Find a Grave Memorial ID 6706, citing El Toro Memorial Park, Lake Forest, Orange County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find a Grave .