By: Taylor Smith
Florence Joyner was born December 21, 1959 in Los Angeles, California. She was also known as " Flo Jo". She was a track and field star and is known for her world record speed. She began running by the age of 7.She was very competitive. By 14, she won the Jesse Owens National Youth Games. She later on competed for Jordan High School. She became a NCAA champion in 1982 with a victory in the 200-meter event. The year after, she took the top spot in the 400-meter event. At the 1984 summer Olympics she won a silver medal in the 200-meter event. She was determined, so in the 1988 Summer Olympics she brought home 3 gold medals. She also brought home a silver medal in 4-by-400 meter relay. Her energy had ended up naming her the world's fastest woman. She has records that still hold today. Her performance also had her named The Associated Press' "Female Athlete of the Year" and Track and Field magazine's "Athlete of the Year." She also won the Sullivan award for best ameteur athelete.
After the 1988 Olympics, she retired from competing. She was then accused of taking performance enhancing drugs. She took 11 drug tests, but she passed all of them. She was made co-chair of the President's Council on Physical Fitness in 1993. Then she made a foundation for children in need. Around 1995, she began to train again. She was going to compete, but she was having trouble with her right Achilles tendon. Joyner died of an epileptic seizure on September 21, 1998, at her house in Mission Viejo, California. She was only 38 years old at the time of her death, but her family lived up to their name.