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Olympic Trials Day 2: Sha'Carri Richardson has entered the chat
The Dallas-raised sprinter has turned heads with her brash attitude, but she's got the speed to back up her bravado.
It’s about time that the general public met Sha’Carri Richardson. After winning the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 100m last night, the 21-year-old Dallas native is officially the new face of American sprinting — whether you like it or not.
She’s inspired fans and haters alike with her otherworldly speed (she’s the sixth-fastest woman of all time in the 100m with her 10.72 wind-legal personal best), brash, camera-ready attitude, hilariously iconic shady tweets (this one even came for SAFP herself), her association with convicted dopers Dennis Mitchell and Justin Gatlin, her antagonism toward the media, her candy-colored wigs and acrylic nails, and also, let’s face it — the fact that she is a successful, young, queer American Black woman who has the confidence to say whatever she wants.
It’s a lot to unpack, but there’s no denying that she is simply electric to watch on the track and her willingness to speak her mind is refreshing in a sport whose pull-quotes can verge on sterile.
If you didn’t watch the Trials live, I encourage you to check out the full video above, complete with her stellar race and moving post-win celebration as she sprints into the bleachers to give her grandmother a huge hug, later telling NBC’s Lewis Johnson that her biological mother passed away earlier this week:
“Last week, finding out my biological mother passed away and I'm still choosing to pursue my dreams, still coming out here, still here to make the family that I do have on this Earth proud.
And the fact that nobody knows what I go through. Everybody has struggles and I understand that, but y'all see me on this track and y'all see the poker face I put on. But nobody but them and my coach know what I go through on a day-to-day basis.”
Later, she said in the mixed zone:
“That’s not anything I want to talk about, so I’m not gonna get too much into details because that’s still a very, very, very sensitive and confusing topic for me to even speak on for myself, but what I will say is — I am grateful to her for giving me life, bringing me into this world to bring y’all who y’all see today as Sha’Carri Richardson and I will always love and respect her for that and I will definitely pay her respect every time I step on the track. I love her and I know she love me.”
Of her embrace with her grandma, she said:
“My grandmother is my heart, my grandmother is my superwoman, so to have her here at the biggest meet of my life… That probably felt better than winning the race itself, being able to hold her after being an Olympian.”
No doubt that Richardson, who turned pro after setting the NCAA record in the 100m as a freshman at LSU, seems to have conquered some demons to get where she is today. So if you, too, saw Richardson’s name trending on Twitter today and wondered why, there’s your answer!
Richardson’s training partner Javianne Oliver and Texas ex Teahna Daniels nabbed second and third place in the women’s 100m final to secure their spots in Tokyo as well. All three women are first-time Olympians. For Daniels, the 2019 U.S. champion, it was extra meaningful to qualify the day before Father’s Day as she often dedicates her races to the memory of her father, who passed away a few years ago. The top eight women will be considered for the 4x100-meter relay pool in Tokyo.
Women’s 100m (-1.0 m/s)
Sha’Carri Richardson, 10.86
Javianne Oliver, 10.99
Teahna Daniels, 11.03
Jenna Prandini, 11.11
Gabby Thomas, 11.15
English Gardner, 11.16
Aleia Hobbs, 11.20
Kayla White, 11.22
Candace Hill, 11.23
Confession time: I actually did not watch the Trials live last night as I was helping with coverage of Austin FC’s debut home game at the brand-new Q2 Stadium here in Austin, Texas. I was also lucky enough to attend the stadium’s official “christening” by none other than the U.S. women’s national team earlier this week in a friendly match vs. the Nigerian national team. You can check out some of our work over at The Striker Texas and learn more about what we’re doing via this feature from Charles Boehm for MLS Soccer.
Former Texas star Ryan Crouser shatters outdoor world record in shot put win at Trials, Austin American-Statesman
More from the U.S. Olympic Trials
Born to run? Olympic hopeful Sarah Lancaster made her mark at Texas in tennis, basketball, Austin American-Statesman
Everything Is Clicking at the Right Time for Josette Norris, Runner’s World
At 19, NCAA Star Athing Mu Says She’s “Made for This,”Women’s Running