“Dress good to look good. Look good to feel good. And feel good to run fast!”, thus spoke Florence Griffith- Joyner (Flo Jo), the world’s fastest woman who ran a stunning 10.49s at the 1988 Seoul Olympic 100m trials. She truly is an icon not only for this feat, which remains unbeaten to this day, but also for how she managed to do it in Style… literally!
Picture this, athletes are out on the race track, getting ready to, well, race. As the camera pans past each contestant, one racer particularly stands out. Sporting a purple, one legged running suit and jewelry, “Flo Jo”, in make up and vibrantly decorated nails, stretches with an aura of great determination.
Her fashion sense was bold for an athlete, to say the least and yet, at the clap, Flo Jo takes off from the starting line and sets the World Record to become the fastest woman on the planet, ever. What some considered extreme/ over the top fashion was nothing compared to the amount of effort and determination she put into her training.
“I spend about 15 minutes putting on my make up, I spend a lot longer getting ready for a race.”
As she went about smashing world records, Flo Jo was also doing the same for gender stereotypes and the notion of ‘beauty’ in sports. Where women runners essentially ‘toned down’ their looks for the races, Flo Jo burst forth, glamorously embracing her femininity.
Her stylish persona and work ethic would go on to inspire generations of aspiring athletes. She brought the worlds of fashion and sports together and looked terribly good doing it.
This was Florence Griffith- Joyner’s Iconic Sports Moment!