By Dirk Smith, M.Sc, SDL (He/Him)

Taking to the track in the 100m sprint at the US Olympic Track and Field trials in Oregon on June 19th, Sha’Carri Richardson made a huge statement in 10.86 seconds. With her long, fiery orange hair, Richardson could have lit the track aflame as she ran to go back to the future. Her hair color chosen by her girlfriend, speaks of her personality. In an interview with USA Today she stated,


“My girlfriend actually picked my color,” Richardson said. “She said it just spoke to her, the fact that it was just so loud and vibrant. That’s who I am. She just wanted me to be able to make a statement — let’s continue to show the world I’m a force to be reckoned with.”


This year has been a remarkable year for Richardson as she burst onto the international stage. Known for her fast times and fiery personality, Richardson established her place in the field by running three of the six fastest times in the world prior to the Olympic trials. At the young age of 21, she is just getting started. She is the youngest of Team USA’s three 100m qualifiers and will be facing two-time Olympic gold medalist, Shelly-Ann-Fraser Price in Tokyo.


While Richardson hasn’t publicly come out about her sexual orientation, social media has been abuzz from her performance and her sharing a rainbow emoji on social media as well. Regardless of her sexual orientation, Richardson has been celebrating her accomplishment with her family and girlfriend. As soon as her race was finished the first thing Richardson did was go into the audience bleachers to find her grandmother for a hug and kiss. Afterwards she also shared her personal tragedy of losing her mom just prior to the trials.


“I’m still here. 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.


“And I’ll highly grateful to them. Without them, there would be no me. without my grandmother, there would be no Sha’carri Richardson. So, my family is my everything. My everything until the day I’m done.”


We are excited to see more from Sha’Carri Richardson as she prepares for the Summer Olympics in just a few weeks!


Photo by Kingofthedead via Wikimedia Commons