After her dominating performance in the 100-meter to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, track and field sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson revealed that her biological mother had passed away. “My family has kept me grounded,” the 21-year old told NBC after her record-breaking race (via ESPN). “This year has been crazy for me. Going from just last week, losing my biological mother, and I’m still here.”
The news seemed to shock NBC, who then asked America’s fastest woman to repeat what she said. “I’m still here. Last week, finding out my biological mother passed away and still choosing to pursue my dreams, still coming out here, still here to make the family that I do still have on this earth proud,” Richardson continued. “And the fact [is] 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.”
The former LSU track star ran into the stands to embrace members of her family after the race, and she spoke about what they mean to her. “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.”
Known for her ever-changing hair color and long nails, as well as her blazing speed, Richardson is already a cultural icon. “Honestly, the color is based off how I want to feel. Like the red puts me in a very dominating mood,” she told Team USA about her hair in 2020. “I wear my nails because I love to express myself. I feel like my nails show who I am, and that’s that I am different but I can still get the job done.” Per Yahoo Sports!, Richardson is seeking to become the first American to take home the gold in the 100 meters since Gail Devers in 1996.