In new movie news, Tiffany Haddish will star as 3x Olympic Gold-winning track and field athlete Florence Griffith Joyner (“Flo-Jo”) in a game1 bio-pic about the remarkable athlete. Just a few weeks ago, the Girls Trip star manifested playing the role when speaking to HollywoodLife.com in an EXCLUSIVE interview, admitting she would “get that Oscar” when she “plays Flo-Jo.” “Done and done. I would love to be FloJo, because I really want to go to the Olympics,” she told HL of her childhood hero. Now, Tiffany’s dream is set to be on the big screen.
“I am looking forward to telling Flo-Jo’s story the way it should be told,” the actress said in a press release for the news. “My goal with this film is making sure that younger generations know my ‘she-ro’ Flo-Jo, the fastest woman in the world to this day, existed.” Learn more about Flo-Jo and her incredible career.
1. Florence Griffith Joyner began to run track in elementary school.
The track star began her career young in elementary school when she joined the Sugar Ray Robinson Organization in her hometown of Littlerock, California. At the ages of 14 and 15, Flo-Jo won the Jesse Owens National Youth Games and went on to run track at Jordan High School in LA. She set high school records in sprinting and long jump.
2. Flo-Jo attended Cal State University at Northridge, but had to drop out at one point.
Florence Griffith Joyner continued her track career at Cal State University at Northridge, coached by Bob Kersee. The team, which also included stars Alice Brown and Jeanette Bolden, won the national championships her first year. Unfortunately, Florence was forced to drop out of school her sophomore year to support her family and took a job as a bank teller. This was until Kersee garnered enough financial aid to bring her back to school — this time at UCLA where he was the new coach.
3. Florence competed in the ’84 & ’88 Olympics
While Flo-Jo qualified for the 1980 Olympics, the United States boycotted the Games and she was unable to compete. She had her shot in the 1984 Summer Olympics, which took place in LA, where she medaled silver. After a brief hiatus following the ’84 games, Flo-Jo returned to the track to prepare for ’88. In the quarterfinals for the Olympic Trials, she set a world record when she sprinted 100 meters in 10.49 seconds. At the Olympic Games, Flo-Jo won four medals — three gold and one silver — the second most for female track and field athlete in history. She retired in 1989.
4. Flo-Jo was known for her bold fashion choices and long nails.
Before Serena Williams’ catsuits, there was Florence Griffith Joyner’s “one-leggers.” The track star frequently wore wild looks for her competitions, like the World Championships in 1987 in Rome, when she rocked a hooded speed skating body suit. Then, in April 1988, Flo-Jo appeared in a running suit that had a full right leg extending to the ankle, but then the left leg of the suit was cut-off. Talk about fierce. Her nails were always show-stopping as well, especially at the ’88 Olympic Trials. Flo-Jo had four-inch long painted with tiger stripes, before she switched to a fuchsia tone. For the Olympics, themselves, she wore six inch nails painted red, white, blue, and gold.
5. Florence Griffith Joyner died in 1998 at the age of 38.
Florence Griffith Joyner tragically died on September 21, 1998 after suffering a severe epileptic seizure in her sleep at the age of 38. The track star had a history of seizures and was also found to have had a cavernous hemangioma, a congenital vascular brain abnormality that made her subject to them.