In the 1987 World Championships she ran the first two rounds in a skintight bodysuit similar to that used by speed skaters, complete with a hood. The following year her costumes were even more eye-catching - one was a purple body suit 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 1988 Olympics, she arrived with finger nails six inches long and carefully decorated. She painted three of them red, white and blue, and the fourth gold to signify her goal. On this occasion, all her goals were achieved - but four months later, at a tearful press conference, she announced her sudden retirement.
Flo Jo's success is especially great when her beginnings are considered. She began her life in the projects of South Central Los Angeles. The values of independence and individualism were instilled in her household from an early age. When she was seven, Florence began running. She was a star athlete by adolescence, as well as a straight-A student. Flo Jo was a true role model. Her excellence in all endeavors inspired fans to achieve their own great heights. The image of Flo Jo, victorious, waving the American flag at the Seoul Olympics stands as a testament to this legend that defined the "American Dream."
After the 1988 Olympics, Joyner retired from competition. Suspicions soon arose regarding how the so-called "world's fastest woman" achieved her victories. Joyner and her coach, Bob Kersee, came under media speculation when another athlete suggested that Joyner had used performance-enhancing drugs. Some attributed the substantial improvements Joyner made in her performance levels from 1984 to 1988 to illegal substances. Others thought that her incredibly muscular physique had to have been created with the help of performance-enhancing drugs.