She Ran For Gold, While They Ran To Accuse Her

Women's 1500 m heats London 2012
Cydney Smith
December 25, 2022

1984 Olympian, Florence “Flo-Jo” Joyner, looked down at her silver medal and blinked back tears. Part of her was elated, but her competitive side whispered: “We came here for gold.” 

Leaving the stadium, head held high, Joyner vowed she’d be back.

Joyner prioritized her training, pushing herself throughout the four years leading up to the 1988 Olympics. Finally, it was time to see if her work would pay off.

It did! She won gold and set 2 new world records, becoming the fastest woman in the world! 

Afterwards Joyner retired, but that didn’t stop haters from spreading vicious rumors that she’d used performance enhancers to win, tarnishing her well-earned reputation.

Sadly, Joyner died 10 years after placing gold. But she couldn’t even rest in peace! Rumors about steroids still circulated, until finally Prince Alexandre De Merode, chairman of the International Olympic Committee's medical commission, said Joyner passed all tests and it was unfair to suggest otherwise.

Today, athletes like Serena Williams or Sha'Carri Richardson are still brutally scrutinized in a way that non-Black athletes are not. Joyner faced this same racism, but refused to let it deter her.

When we are resilient and know we are deserving of greatness, nothing can stop us from achieving our goals!

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