What to Know About Sha'Carri Richardson, the Olympian Whose Biological Mom Died Just Before Trials
Sha'Carri Richardson, 21, earned her spot on Team USA's track and field team for the Tokyo Olympics after winning the 100m race at the U.S. trials
Sha'Carri Richardson is Team USA's current track sensation.
On Saturday, she made national headlines after qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics, winning the women's 100m race at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials in Eugene, Oregon. By clocking in at 10.86 seconds, Richardson secured her spot on Team USA at 21 years old.
With her charisma and confidence both on and off the track, Richardson has all eyes on her as she approaches her first Olympic Games. Here's everything to know about the track superstar.
She briefly ran track for Louisiana State University.
Richardson is a Dallas, Texas, native, who got her start in track at a young age. She was a standout athlete at Carter High School before attending Louisiana State University.
During her freshman year at LSU, she won the 2019 NCAA title in a college-record 10.75 seconds. She earned several awards and honors during her first year, including being named SEC freshman track athlete of the year and receiving the 2019 Bowerman award, the highest individual honor in collegiate track and field.
Following the successful season, Richardson announced in June 2019 on social media that she would be ending her track journey at LSU to begin her "lifelong dream" of being a professional athlete.
She lost her biological mother prior to the Olympic Trials.
Richardson has made it known that her family comes first — and that was clear during the U.S. trials when she headed to hug her grandmother immediately after winning the women's 100m race. She embraced her grandmother, who then kissed her forehead in a touching post-victory moment. Richardson told NBC that she's been through a lot with her family and appreciates their constant support.
"My family has kept me grounded. This year has been crazy for me going from just last week losing my biological mother and I'm still here," she said during an interview shortly after. "My biological mother passed away and [I'm] still choosing to pursue my dreams, still coming out here, still making sure to make the family that I do still have on this earth proud."
Richardson did not elaborate on the circumstances of the death of her biological mother.
She continued, "The fact that nobody knows what I go through, everybody has struggles and I understand that but yall see me on this track and yall see the poke face I put on but [my family] and my coach knows 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 until the day I'm done," Richardson said, NBC reported.
Her colorful hair is always a representation of her mood.
Richardson was a hot topic after securing her spot in Tokyo, not only for her speed but for her full glam look on the track. The athlete competed with long colorful nails and vibrant hair, allowing her to stand out during the race.
She actually switches her hair color often, revealing that the orange shade for the U.S. trials was inspired by her girlfriend who chose the color because it's "loud" and "dangerous," USA Today reported.
According to the Olympics' official website, Richardson has said that her hair hue is a way of expressing herself.
"The color is based off how I want to feel. Like the red puts me in a very dominating mood. And sometimes I feel that can be overwhelming, so when I need to calm down I have black hair. The black calms me and makes me blend in instead of being extra," she explained.
The track star continued, "The blonde is for when I'm going home to Texas. Or I'll wear it when I am away from home and wanting to feel like home."
Richardson has been compared to three-time Olympic gold medalist Florence Griffith Joyner, who was also known for her style on the track.
Richardson acknowledged the comparisons by posting photos of the track legend on Instagram and has often spoken of her influence. She captioned the post, "Y'all love talking about my hair & my nails like the greatest woman to ever enter the game didn't run in style."
Just weeks ahead of competing in Tokyo, Richardson told NBC Sports that she's "got some tricks up my sleeve" with her hair, telling fans to "stay tuned" at the Olympic Games.