Distinguished Women of Past and Present

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Florence Griffith Joyner

1959-1998
From: United States: California
Fields: Sports
Key Words/Phrases: track and field, track-and-field
 
Griffith Joyner, (Delorez) Florence (1959- ), American track athlete, born in Los Angeles, California, and educated at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). She grew up in Los Angeles, began running track at the age of 7, and at 14 won the Jesse Owens National Youth Games. She enrolled at California State University (1979) to train with the renowned Bob Kersee, then followed him to UCLA. After winning a silver medal in the 200-meter dash in the 1984 Olympics, she went into semiretirement. She returned to competition in 1987, taking second place at the World Championship Games in Rome. After rigorous training she made a highly dramatic comeback in the trials for the 1988 Olympic Games. Her prowess, along with her glamour and eye-catching clothes, made "Flojo" a media sensation and one of the highest-paid sports figures in the world. In 1988, at the Olympic Games in Seoul, she won gold medals in the 100- and 200-meter races and in the 400-meter relay; she took the silver in the 1600-meter relay. Since then she has devoted her time to commercial enterprises, writing, and modeling. In 1989 she announced her retirement from track, although she continued to coach her husband, Al Joyner, a champion jumper whom she married in 1987.

"Griffith Joyner, (Delorez) Florence" Microsoft® Encarta.
Copyright© 1995 Microsoft Corporation.


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