Women June 22, 2021 at 01:00 pm

Sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson qualifies for her first Olympic Games just days after losing her mom

Ama Nunoo June 22, 2021 at 01:00 pm

June 22, 2021 at 01:00 pm | Women

Sha’Carri Richardson is the new kid on the block looking to break the quarter of a century jinx on the U.S. Olympic team to bring home a gold medal in the 100m women’s race in Tokyo. After winning the recent women’s 100m Olympic qualifiers at the U.S. Track and Field Trials in Eugene, Oregon, Richardson credited her family and coach for her newest accomplishment.

Being an Olympian is every athlete’s dream and Richardson is ready for the task ahead. “I am an Olympian. No matter what is said … I am an Olympian. A dream since I’ve been young. I’m pretty sure everybody’s dream as a track athlete,” Richardson said. “Being happy is an understatement. Being excited, nervous, all of those feelings. I’m highly blessed and grateful.”

The 21-year-old “slayed” her way to the finish line as usual. On Saturday, no one could miss her bright orange half-pony hairdo, her glistening nails, and sweeping lashes as she passed fellow sprinters to make the U.S. Olympic team in 10.86 seconds.

Richardson was followed closely by her training partner, Javianne Oliver, who finished with 10.99 on the clock tailed by Teahna Daniels, finishing third in 11.03.

It was what happened moments after her win that has people talking to date. The adrenaline with which she ran into the stands to embrace her grandmother made everyone emotional as their connection could be felt through the hugs and sobs. Richardson said she is highly indebted to her family for her success.

“She was always in my corner,” Richardson said about her grandmother. “She is my heart. She is my superwoman. Being able to cross the finish line and run up the steps felt amazing after becoming an Olympian.

“That moment for me, the reason why I did it, the passion that I have, the people in the stands, they’re the reason I’m here. It felt amazing, it felt surreal. I can’t wait to go see my family and let it all sink in,” she said, according to NBC Olympics.

Another intriguing revelation that came up in her post-run interview was that she had just lost her biological mother a week before the race. If she had not mentioned this little personal detail, no one in the stands that day could have ever figured it out.

“I’m still here,” she said. “Still choosing to pursue my dreams, still coming out here, still making sure to make the family that I still have on this Earth proud. And the fact that nobody knows what I go through.”

Richardson went on to thank her support system for holding her down and being with her through her lowest moments. “Everybody has struggles and I understand that but when y’all see me on this track and y’all see the poker face I put on, but nobody but [my family] and my coach know what I go through on a day-to-day basis, and I’m highly grateful for them — without them, there would be no me, without my grandmother, there would be no Sha’Carri Richardson.

“My family is my everything, my everything till the day I’m done,” she concluded.

The 5 feet 1-inch-tall Dallas native attended Carter High school and went on to Louisiana State University (LSU) where she made her mark on their track team. Her journey to being a professional athlete happened in a twinkle of an eye. It began two years ago just after a single season with the LSU track team.

Although her height is historically shorter than most sprinters, the track field powerhouse cemented her name in history when she broke the 100m collegiate record, according to NBC Olympics. She nursed dreams of being an Olympian after stepping foot on the tracks, but it was after she hit the 10-second range that she knew it was within her reach.

Richardson earned the title of the world’s sixth-fastest woman of all-time at 100m when she ran 10.72 in April with full-on blue hair.

No one knows what hair color she will rock next, but the world will certainly have its eyes on Richardson at the Tokyo Olympics, not only for style tips but for her sprinting prowess.

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