Tiffany Haddish to Play Athlete and Fashion Icon Florence Griffth Joyner

Emmy-winning actress Tiffany Haddish will put aside her usual comedic antics to embody one of her own childhood heroes, the fastest woman in the world Florence Griffith Joyner.

Credit: People

Tiffany Haddish is an American comedian mainly known for her unflinching candour and disarming authenticity. Haddish is best known for her roles in Girls Trip, Night School and making history becoming the first female African American comedian to host Saturday Night Live, for which she won an Emmy Award for outstanding guest actress in a comedy series. Haddish was also awarded a Grammy for her work in Black Mitzvah in 2020. The star will also serve as a producer for the biopic. 

Who is Florence Griffth Joyner?

Florence Griffth Joyner, also known as Flo Jo, was an American track and field athlete. Over her career, she earned 3 gold medals and 2 silver at various Olympic games. Many of her records, particularly those of the 1988 Olympics such as the 100m and 200m have yet to be broken. Joyner was particularly known for long hair, 6-inch manicures and bright tracksuits.

An article by Vogue named Florence one of the most fashionable athletes of all time. Often sporting her signature asymmetrical one-legged tracksuits frequently decorated with American flags or the hopeful shade of gold. Joyner had been designing her own track uniforms since high school viewing fashion as a part of her performance strategy.

Explaining, “Dress good to look good. Look good to feel good. And feel good to run fast!” This led her to Florence to become the first female American Olympian to win four medals in one year.

Flo Jo’s love for fashion followed her off the track, launching her own line and designing uniforms for the Indiana Pacers in her retirement. Until her untimely death due to an epileptic seizure in 1998 at age 38. 

Tribute From Serena 

The late Olympian’s fans and fellow athletes have kept Florence’s legacy alive through various tributes over the years. Most recently Serena Williams sported a one-legged catsuit earlier this year at the Australian Open in February.

In an article by The Age, Williams said the idea was brought to her by Nike and she was instantly on board. 

“I was like, oh my God, this is so brilliant,” she said, adding that Griffith Joyner served as an inspiration for her as a child. “That’s where we started. Obviously we made some changes and tweaks to it … It became this.”

The Biopic

Credit: Amo Mama

Flo Jo’s widower and former coach, an Olympic gold medallist in his own right, is set to serve as a producer and creative consultant. Joyner is also currently training Haddish for the role utilizing the same methods his late wife exercised during her career. 

“Working with Tiffany has been a great pleasure – she is incredibly dedicated, focused, and committed to portraying the spirit of Florence accurately, whose legacy of making a difference in the world will live on for generations to come,” Joyner said in a statement from the LA Times

Fans Divided

Though everyone is very excited for the upcoming biopic to honour Flo Jo’s legacy. Fans are divided with some believing that the Grammy winner is perfect for the role, whilst others are concerned Tiffany will not be able to do the Olympian icon justice due to her comedic background. 

In response, the actress tweeted, “I can’t even explain how hard I am going to work to honour Her Legacy!” 

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