But shes gone. Dead at 38. Just died in her sleep.
Madeline Manning Mims, Florence Griffith-Joyners friend since high school and a fellow world-class runner, hopes FloJos death serves notice to many.
"I hope this is a wake-up call to those who are running for the money and the glory in this life," says Mims, a former world-record holder at 800 meters and a four-time Olympian. She now ministers to many athletes as a chaplain at major track events. "Ive talked with athletes and said, How you doing with the Lord? and heard some say, Well, you know, its all about the green. And Id say, Really? Is that what its all about?"
"Theres nothing wrong with making money, but they must realize that you can be here one minute and gone the next, and then what youre striving for will be a puff of smoke. Im hoping this will touch the hearts of athletes to help them understand that it is their relationship with the Lord that is most important."
Mims wants the world to know that FloJo had her priorities in order. Although she and husband, Al Joyner, a gold-medal winning triple jumper, were best known for track and field, their passion was their love of Christ. Mims recalls that when Al and Florence were married, even though both had already committed their lives to Christ, the first thing they did was re-commit their lives and their marriage to the Lord.
"She wasnt as bold as someone like myself in speaking about her Christian faith," Mims says. "But if you asked her, she didnt beat around the bush. The main thing I want people to know is that Flo loved Jesus with all her heart, and that is the most important thing."