Sha’Carri Richardson’s career is just getting started, but the track and phenom is already one of the most talked about athletes in recent memory.
Born in Dallas, Texas, the sprinter shot to worldwide fame in June 2021 with her stunning victory in the 100-meter race at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials. Her 10.86 time was impressive, of course, but she also charmed fans with her signature style — and the adorable hug she gave her grandmother after her win.
“Without my grandmother, there would be no Sha’Carri Richardson,” the athlete said during a press conference after the trials. “So my family is my everything. My everything until the day I’m done.”
In July 2021, however, Richardson’s Olympic dreams came to a possible halt after she tested positive for THC, a chemical found in marijuana. As a result, she was hit with a 30-day suspension and her results from the Olympic trials were disqualified. Her suspension will stretch beyond the beginning of the Tokyo Olympics, but there’s still a possibility she could compete in the 100-meter relay race.
“I just want to take responsibility for my actions, I know what I did,” the runner said during an interview with Today. “I know what I’m supposed to do and what I’m allowed not to do, and I still made that decision. But I’m not making an excuse or looking for any empathy in my case.”
Richardson, who has been very vocal about her mental health battles, told Savannah Guthrie that the recent death of her mother had been a “very heavy” topic for her to deal with while competing in the trials.
“People don’t understand what it’s like to have to — alright, people do,” she explained. “We all have our different struggles. We all have our different things we deal with, but to put on a face, to have to go in front of the world and put on a face and hide my pain, I don’t know. … Who am I to tell you how to cope when you’re dealing with pain? Or you’re dealing with a struggle that you’ve never experienced before? Or that you never thought you’d have to deal with?”
The track star said that she learned of her mother’s death from a reporter, who told her about it during an interview days before the trials were set to begin. “I was just thinking it would be a normal interview,” Richardson told Today. “But to hear that information coming from a complete stranger, it was definitely triggering, it was definitely nerve-shocking.”
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