Florence Griffith Joyner

World Records

Event Time Location
100 Meters 10.49 seconds 1988 Olympic Trials
200 Meters 21.34 seconds 1988 Olympic Finals

Olympic Medals

Year Event Medal
1984 200 Meters Silver
1988 100 Meters Gold
1988 200 Meters Gold
1988 400 Meters Gold
1988 1,600 Meters Silver


  • 1988 Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year
  • 1988 United States Olympic Committee Sportswoman of the Year
  • 1988 Sullivan Award (awarded to top amateur athlete)
  • 1988 Jesse Owens Outstanding Track and Field Athlete
  • 1995 Inducted into the U.S.A. Track and Field Hall of Fame
  • Recipient of a Distinguished Service Award from the United Negro College Fund


  • She graduated from Jordan High School in Los Angeles in 1978, and attended California State University at Northridge for two years, then graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1983 with a degree in psychology.
  • She won a silver medal in the 200-meter dash at the 1984 Olympics in her hometown of Los Angeles.
  • She married Al Joyner on October 10, 1987. They have a daughter, Mary Ruth.
  • At the 1988 Olympic trials she ran the three fastest 100-meter times ever by a woman and set the American record in the 200-meter dash.
  • Also at the 1988 Olympic trials, she introduced her self-made apparel. One outfit was a purple bodysuit with a turquoise bikini brief over it, but with nothing on her left leg, a design she referred to as a "one-legger."
  • At the Olympics, she painted three of her fingernails red, white and blue, and she painted a fourth gold to signify her goal of winning a gold medal..
  • Griffith Joyner still holds world records in the 100- and 200-meter dashes. She set the 100-meter record of 10.49 seconds in the quarterfinals of the 1988 Olympic trials in Indianapolis, and since then, no one has even broken 10.60. At Seoul, she won the gold medal in a wind-aided 10.54.
  • She captured three gold medals at the 1988 Seoul Games and set world records that still stand for 100- and 200-meter dashes.
  • Griffith Joyner set the world record in the 200-meter dash in the Olympic final, clocking in at 21.34 seconds. Marion Jones, with a 21.62 at the World Cup in South Africa and Merlene Ottey, with a 21.64 in Brussels, remain the only other women to run the 200m in under 21.70 seconds.
  • Griffith Joyner won a gold medal in the 400-meter relay, and just missed a fourth gold medal when the U.S. team won the silver in the 1,600 relay, which she anchored.
  • She was voted the Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year for 1988, and she won the Sullivan Award as the nation's top amateur athlete.
  • Griffith Joyner retired from track after the Seoul Olympics.
  • She served as co-chair of the President's Council on Physical Fitness.
  • She tried a comeback before the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, but problems with her right Achilles' tendon forced her to abandon the attempt.