Thursday, November 6, 2014
Florence Delorez Griffith Joyner, Flo-Jo, Fastest Woman in the World..
Florence Delorez Griffith Joyner, 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 and have yet to be seriously challenged. Griffith was born in Los Angeles, California, and she was raised in the Jordan Downs public housing complex. During the late 1980s she became a popular figure in international track and field because of her record-setting performances and flashy personal style. She was the wife of the triple jumper Al Joyner and the sister-in-law of the heptathlete and long jumper Jackie Joyner-Kersee. Griffith ran track at Jordan High School in Los Angeles. As a senior, she finished 6th at the CIF California State Meet. Griffith attended the California State University at Northridge, and she was on the track team coached by Joyner-Kersee's future husband, Bob Kersee. Kersee became the head coach of the track team at the University of California at Los Angeles, which prompted Griffith to also transfer there, since she was academically eligible to do so. In 1982, Griffith graduated from UCLA with her bachelor's degree in psychology. In 1988, with no outstanding early season marks to indicate fitness, in the first race of the quarterfinals of the U.S. Olympic Trials, she stunned her colleagues when she sprinted 100 meters in 10.49 seconds, the world record. By now known to the world as "Flo-Jo", Griffith Joyner was the big favorite for the titles in the sprint events at the 1988 Summer Olympics. In the 100-meter final, she ran a wind-assisted 10.54, beating her nearest rival Evelyn Ashford by 0.30 seconds. In the 200 meter semifinal, she set the world record of 21.56 seconds, and then she broke this record again in winning in the final by 0.38 seconds with her time of 21.34 seconds. At the same Olympics Griffith Joyner also ran with the 4×100 m relay and the 4×400 m relay teams. Her team won first place in the 4×100 m relay and second place in the 4×400 m relay. Their time is still the second fastest in history, following the winner of this race. This was her first internationally rated 4×400 m relay. Griffith Joyner was the winner of the James E. Sullivan Award of 1988 as the top amateur athlete (male or female) in the United States. Among the things she did away from the track was to design the basketball uniforms for the Indiana Pacers NBA team in 1989.