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Video:Profile of Florence Griffith-Joyner

with Michael Sanchez

Sprinter Florence Griffith-Joyner won multiple Olympic gold medals in the 1988 Olympic games. Watch this video profile from About.com to learn about Florence Griffith-Joyner.See Transcript

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Transcript:Profile of Florence Griffith-Joyner

Hello, I'm Michael Sanchez for About.com. Today we'll be learning about American track and field athlete and gold medal Olympian Florence Griffith-Joyner. 

Early Life of Florence Griffith-Joyner

Florence Griffith-Joyner was born in south central Los Angeles, Calif. in 1959.  At a young age, Florence showed a promising athletic future and at the age of 14, won the Jesse Owens National Youth Games. She graduated with a degree in psychology at UCLA in 1983, and the following year competed in the 1984 Olympics, where she won the silver medal in the 200-meter dash. In 1985, Florence won the final of the Grand Prix with a time of 11.00 seconds. Florence married Olympic triple jump gold medalist Al Joyner in 1987 and he subsequently became her full-time running coach.

Florence Griffith-Joyner at the 1988 Olympics

At the time she tried out for the 1988 U.S. Olympic team, she broke the world record in the 100-meter race with a time of 10.49 seconds. At the 1988 Summer Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea, Florence Griffith-Joyner won the 100-meter race with a time of 10.54 and broke the 200-meter world record with a time of 21.34. She went on to win a third gold medal in the 4x100 relay. Florence was voted the Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year for 1988 and later won the Sullivan Award as the Nation's Top Amateur Athlete.

Post-Olympic Career of Florence Griffith-Joyner

Florence retired from track after the Seoul Olympics and planned to start a family as well as take up interests in fashion and cosmetology. President Bill Clinton later asked her to serve as co-chair of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and she was the first African American and the first female to do so. In 1998, Florence Griffith-Joyner, who suffered from epilepsy, died suddenly during a seizure in her sleep at the age of 38. She continues to hold the world records for both the 100- and 200-meter run times and is still considered to be the "fastest woman of all time."

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