A Dallas native made a colorful splash in the Olympic trials: Sha'Carri Richardson, a graduate of Dallas Carter High School, won in the 100-meter race at the Olympic track and field trials on June 19 in Eugene, Oregon.
With a head of blazing orange hair that made her easy to follow on the field, the 21-year-old sprinter finished the race in 10.84 seconds, easily beating the second-place time of 11.15 seconds.
Her win secured her a spot at the Tokyo Games, while her positive attitude, firecracker personality, and sincere interviews let the world know she has arrived.
Richardson previously won a national junior title in the U.S. in 2017, and won a collegiate title for the 100-meter race in 2019 while she was a freshman at Louisiana State University. She left LSU to focus on becoming a professional athlete.
But she's made a big impression with her vivid personal style, which, on Saturday included bright orange hair, heavily-fringed false eyelashes, and three-inch-long fingernails, inspired in part by Florence Griffith Joyner, the American sprinter who set world records in the 100-meter race in 1988, and who also wore long fingernails.
"She felt like it was like loud and encouraging," Richardson said. "She was like, 'If you go out there and be the best, you need to look the best. You need to make a statement.'"
When asked about feedback she's received on sites like twitter — where her following has climbed from 30,000 followers on June 20 to 120,000 in a single day — she summoned Dallas and its reputation as the "city of hate."
"Honestly, the hate, definitely I've had to transform it into motivation," she said. "Because easily I could show them 214, the Dallas in me, but I choose to just remember that they're on the outside looking in. And I have to remember that they see me on the chats but they don't know who I am as a person or they choose not to look at that part, because they want to pay attention to things that they see as 'negativity' to this point. So I just shake it off and use it as motivation."
"Without my grandmother, there would be no Sha'Carri Richardson," she said. "So my family is my everything. My everything until the day I'm done."