Saturday, May 15, 2010
FLO-JO / INSPIRED BY
Flo-Jo aka Florence Griffith-Joyner (born Florence Delorez Griffit) has been an icon and of inspiration to me as long as I can remember.
Born in LA December 21, 1959 she later died from suffocation during a severe epileptic seizure on September 21, 1998. Unfortunately her career has been clouded by allegations of drug use, which was speculated to have caused her premature death, however after a post-mortem examination it was discovered the cause of death was from a seizure.
"Cavernous angioma" a congenital (i.e, from birth) brain abnormality discovered during the post-mortem that made Joyner subject to seizures. According to a family layer, she had suffered a severe seizure in 1990, and had also been treated for seizures in 1993 and 1994. Her husband (triple jumper Al Joyner) had requested that Joyner's body specifically be tested for steroids, but was informed that there was not enough urine in her bladder and that the test could not accurately be performed on other biological samples. I feel this request was to attempt to clear her name.
The controversy surrounding Flo-Jo's drugs use was highlighted in 1988 when Brazilian gold medalist Joaquim Cruz suggested that her;
* TIMES could only have been the result of using steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs.
(Before the 1988 season, Griffith Joyner's best 100 meter time was 10.96 seconds. In 1988 she improved that by 0.47 seconds, a time that no one has approached since. Similarly, her pre-1988 best at 200 meters was 21.96. In 1988 she improved that by 0.62 seconds to 21.34)
* PHYSIQUE had changed dramatically in 1988 (showing marked gains in muscle mass and definition,
* PERFORMANCE had improved dramatically over a short period of time
Flo-Jo attributed the change in her physique to new health programs.
The drugs issue was never resolved as Flo-Jo retired just before the introduction of mandatory random drug testing in 1989, thus causing further speculation of her drugs misuse.
I guess we will never know the truth behind Flo-Jo's controversial career, but in my eyes SHE still ran the race! I thank her forgiving me a passion to run, which ironically I'm now considering cortisone aka steroid injections amongst other things to help my worn away knee from years of running! I also am grateful to her for her style, especially her nails, which the likes of as a girl growing up in north east England I had never seen before.
Flo-Jo still holds the women's 100m world record of 10.49s set in Indianapolis, Indiana, on 16 July 1988, AND the 200m world record of 21.34 s set at the 1988 Summer Olympics.