Flo-Jo & Al Joyner’s Only Daughter Mary Ruth Takes Moment to Remember Late Mom by Sharing Classic Photo of Parents on Instagram
Mary Ruth Joyner celebrated the memory of her late mother Flo-Jo on Instagram this 4th of July. The thirty-year-old singer shared a throwback photo of her parents at the Olympics for the day’s celebrations.
Mary Ruth Joyner is the thirty-year-old daughter of Olympians Florence Griffith Joyner and Al Joyner. Mary Ruth is also the founder and CEO of Flo Jo Forever, a foundation that continues the track star’s legacy.
This 4th of July, Mary Ruth commemorated her late mother’s memory through the Flo Jo Forever Instagram page. The shared image featured Flo-Jo and Al Joyner at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, where Flo-Jo broke world records.
The classic image shows the record-breaking track star holding an American flag while in her stylish costume. Her iconic long nails are painted red to match her lipstick and costume, making the Olympian look stunning.
Triple jump gold medalist Al Joyner stands beside the talented runner with an infectious smile on his face. The triple jump athlete had his eye on Flo-Jo since the 1980 Olympic trials and only started courting her six years after.
Flo-Jo and Al had an impromptu wedding after an earthquake scared the track star in 1987. A few months later, the couple sprinted to victory at the Olympics, and two years later, the first couple of track and field welcomed their daughter.
In an interview with Ebony Magazine, Flo-Jo revealed that she ate all of her favorite foods while pregnant with Joyner. The athlete credited her homemade sweet potato pies for her 65-pound weight gain during her pregnancy.
Flo-Jo and Al’s small family was the vision of the American dream, making Joyner’s recent post even more special. The celebratory energy in the image perfectly commemorates the two athletes and the national Independence day holiday.
Joyner’s tribute to her parents sheds light on an important figure in American sporting history. She even promotes her father’s coaching abilities which famously landed Flo-Jo her record-breaking times with the hashtag #AlJoynerMindset.
Joyner’s post comes just as her mother’s death became a trending topic on Twitter. Writer Claire Lehmann accused the track star of drug abuse, causing an uproar among the track star’s supporters online.
Honestly surprised to see that a lot of people believe Flo Jo was not a drug cheat. If you think Flo Jo wasn't doping, what do you make of the East Germans who broke all the track records in the 1980s? Were they clean too? Or is just the Americans who were clean?— Claire Lehmann (@clairlemon) July 3, 2021
Flo-Jo tragically died in her sleep at 38 years old after suffocating due to suffering from an epileptic seizure. However, Flo-Jo’s legacy has followed Joyner throughout her life and career, keeping the two connected.
For example, Joyner auditioned for “America’s Got Talent” in season 7, which caught the US Olympic Track and Field team’s attention. The singer was then invited to sing the national anthem for the team’s 2012 Olympic trials.
Joyner may have been eliminated from “America’s Got Talent” after the Vegas round, but the show still made its impact. Singing the national anthem for an Olympic team was a special moment that united the singer and her mother.
In an interview, Joyner recalls calling the national anthem her mother’s “Olympic song” when she was a toddler. She also reveals it was one of her first introductions to music, which she has turned into a career.
After singing the national anthem at the 2012 Track and Field Olympic trials, Joyner was invited to belt out the tune again. However, this time she was singing the anthem for a Pacers basketball game in 2015.
The Pacers invited Joyner to perform the national anthem for the game as they wore their Flo-Jo-designed uniforms. Joyner soaked in the opportunity and expressed her excitement for the event to the team:
“For me to be singing the national anthem at a Pacers game while the team wears those uniforms, it’s such an honor. This is like a dream come true.”
Joyner's impressive musical gifts have brought her closer to her mother in many ways over the years. However, the fact that Flo-Jo wished that she could sing when she was still alive makes Joyner's gift even more heartwarming.