After She Broke World Records, The World Tried to Break Her
The 1984 Olympics was the year Florence “Flo-Jo” Griffith Joyner won her first Olympic medal. It was silver. And for this competitive athlete, silver wasn’t good enough. Joyner knew she had more to give, so she did what she had to do: she trained.
Year after year, Joyner worked to improve her time until the 1988 Olympics came around. The time had come to see if her hard work paid off.
That year, she sprinted 100 meters in 10.49 seconds! Then ran a 21.56 in the 200-meter semifinal! Both feats broke world records. And those world records still stand today!
After her groundbreaking Olympic win, “Flo Jo” retired to explore other opportunities. But even in retirement, haters spread disgusting rumors that this amazing Black woman used performance enhancers to win - tarnishing her well-earned reputation.
Ten years after her epic performance, Flo Jo died. But her story doesn’t end there. After her death, the Chairman of the International Olympic Committee’s medical commission assured the world that Joyner never used steroids. Because of rumors, in fact, they did extra drug testing - she passed them all.
With her name cleared and world record still standing, no rumor can influence this fact: Florence Griffith Joyner simply worked hard and succeeded, earning her place in history as the fastest woman in the world.
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