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Sha’Carri Richardson: The breakout star of the Olympic trials

Who is the woman taking the track (and the internet) by storm?

Sha’Carri Richardson waves at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials.
Sha’Carri Richardson waves after winning the women’s 100 meters at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials Saturday, June 19, 2021, in Eugene, Ore.
Ashley Landis, Associated Press

Flaming orange hair, confident swagger and incredible speed. A new star just exploded onto the U.S. track and field scene: Sha’Carri Richardson.

  • Richardson will join Team USA’s Olympic track and field team next month in Tokyo, reports People.
  • She qualified on Saturday by winning the women’s 100 meters with a sprint lasting only 10.86 seconds at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon, says Reuters.

Richardson has earned the title “America’s Fastest Woman,” reports Yahoo News.

Who is Sha’Carri Richardson?

A Dallas, Texas, native, Richardson — whose first name is pronounced “sha-kerry” — is only 21 years old. She got her start running during high school then went on to briefly run at Louisiana State University, says People.

  • Richardson won the 2019 NCAA title and set a college record, running the 100 in 10.75 seconds, says People.

A strong competitor, Richardson has repeatedly emphasized how important her family is to her success, reports Fox News. Her biological mother died just before the Olympic trials and, when Richardson won, she ran to immediately hug her grandmother.

  • “Without them, there would be no me. Without my grandmother, there would be no Sha’Carri Richardson. My family is my everything — my everything until the day I’m done,” she said, per People.

What races will she run at the Olympics?

Richardson will race for the U.S. in the 100 meters. Previously, she was set to run both the 100 and 200 sprints but decided to opt out of the 200, reports ESPN.

How did she become an overnight sensation?

Competing in a “full glam” look, Richardson caught everyone’s attention at the Olympic trials, says People. Her bubbly personality and colorful hair make her a memorable athlete.

  • According to Richardson, she frequently changes her hair color and uses it to express herself, People says.
  • The vibrant orange color was inspired by her girlfriend as a “loud” and “dangerous” look for the Olympic Trials, reports People.

“I just want the world to know that I’m THAT girl. That every time I step on the track I’m gonna try to do what it is that me, my coach, my support team believe I can do, and the talent that God blessed me to have,” Richardson said per Yahoo News.

“Every time I step on the track I’m not going to take the opportunity to perform in vain,” she said per Yahoo News.

All eyes will be on Richardson next month at the Tokyo Olympics, says Reuters.