Sha’Carri Richardson somehow contains an abundance of both humility and self-confidence. Look first at her Instagram, which is filled with mirror selfies, photos of the few times she has been able to go out with friends this past year, some Nike promo images, posts about the Black Lives Matter movement, and a handful of photos from track meets and training. In her captions, she encourages her followers to embrace themselves and their own personal journeys.
She’s clearly an athlete, but it doesn’t necessarily convey that the 21-year-old Dallas native is the sixth fastest woman in history.
“With my platform I definitely want to be able to show that I am just a normal person, I just happen to run faster than a lot of the population. But other than that, I am still a human being,” Richardson says. “I just want to show the younger generation, that you can be who you are and be successful. You can just be your authentic self.”
In April at the Miramar Invitational, Richardson ran the 100 meter dash in a blistering 10.72 seconds, earning a spot in the history books alongside some of track and field’s all-time greats. Those include Jamaicans Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Elaine Thompson Herah, each of whom Richardson could face off against for Olympic gold in Tokyo. (Fraser-Pryce two weeks ago clocked the 100m in 10.63 seconds, the second fastest time in history.)
Richardson is right up there with American legend Florence Griffith Joyner, a frequent comparison considering the 21-year-old’s vibrantly colored hair, bright nails, and bold style. (“I am not trying to be the next FloJo,” Sha’Carri says in response to these comparisons. “I am trying to be the one and only Sha’Carri Richardson.”) She followed up this feat by clocking times of 10.74 and 10.77 at the USATF Golden Games in May, the latter of which was dashed into a 1.2 meter/second headwind, the fastest time ever recorded going into that much wind.
Despite her success, Richardson keeps her eyes on what is in front of her. Like the Olympic trials, which begin tonight in Eugene, Oregon. “I still have to make the team at Olympic trials in Oregon,” Richardson says. “But as long as I qualify, in Tokyo, I just want to go there and perform to the best of my abilities and to do what my coach and I have been working on and hopefully all of that preparation will help me produce a winning time.”Read More