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Runaway Style

September 24, 1998|JEANNINE STEIN

Florence Griffith Joyner, who died early Monday at 38, was the personification of style and substance. She had the goods to break records and win medals, and in doing so left an indelible impression: long, powerful legs flying across the finish line, that fierce mane of hair flowing behind her.

While some athletes are content to leave their mark with records and stats, that was never enough for FloJo. She wanted people to notice her, notice the sport, notice that someone with a personality was out there racing. She was the "It" girl of the 1988 Seoul Olympics, causing a ruckus at news conferences with her nerve and verve.

Her outfits spoke volumes--those one-legged, skintight, jewel-bright bodysuits, the impossibly long and wildly painted nails, the glittery jewelry. She infused athleticism with glamour and marched it right onto the track in front of millions.

Most of all, it always looked like Florence Griffith Joyner was having the time of her life. We hope she did.

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