6 things you need to know about Sha'Carri Richardson
A global superstar in the making.
If you own a social media account, chances are you saw Sha'Carri Richardson tearing up a storm on the track a couple of weeks back.
Sporting vibrant hair, full lashes and acrylics long enough to cut a man, she smashed her Tokyo qualifying race and quickly became one to watch in the female sporting world - and we can see why.
Here are six things you should know about Sha'Carri, the 21-year-old sprinter who we're going to be seeing a whole lot more from in the coming years.
1. She's the fastest woman in America
And one of the 10 fastest women in history. Sha'Carri made headlines earlier this month when she qualified for the Olympics with an incredible track time, but it was April of this year that she ran her personal best.
She became the sixth fastest woman of all time after finishing time of 10.72 seconds at the Senior Outdoor Women's 100m - and the fourth fastest American woman in history.
2. She was set to compete in the Tokyo Olympics this summer
Last weekend, Richardson secured her spot on the US's Tokyo Team after smashing the women's 100m race. Completing the track in a sensational 10.86 seconds, the 21-year-old dominated the field and made sure that she would be taking part in the games this year.
“Emotionally…unbelievable,” she said at the time. “The fact that I am an Olympian.. [It’s been] a dream since I’ve been young. I’m pretty sure everybody’s dream as a track athlete. Being happy is an understatement. I am highly blessed and grateful.”
Richardson's place in the Olympics has since been put into jeopardy due to a recent positive test for cannabis. Following the result, she tweeted: "I am human."
3. She has a really close relationship with her grandmother
Right after her stellar Olympics qualifying win earlier this month, Richardson ran to the stalls to embrace her grandmother, Betty Harp - an experience she has since said was "almost better than getting the medal."
Sha'Carri later revealed that her mother passed away not long before the Tokyo trials. “Last week, finding out my biological mother passed away and still choosing to pursue my dreams," she said after her win.
"Still coming out here, still here to make the family that I do still have on this earth proud. And the fact nobody knows what I go through. Everybody has struggles and I understand that. But y’all see me on this track. 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.”
4. Her style is often compared to Florence Griffith Joyner
Another woman noted for her #looks on the track, Florence Griffith Joyner won three Olympic golds over the course of her career, so it's no surprise that Sha'Carri has been compared to her many times.
Naturally, she's humbled to be directly compared to such a legend. Posting a photo of the two on Instagram, she wrote: "Y'all love talking about my hair & my nails like the greatest woman to ever enter the game didn't run in style."
A woman who changes her hair colour frequently, Sha'Carri said that her shade of choice depends on her mood. "The colour is based off how I want to feel," she said recently.
"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."
5. She's just 21-years-old
Yeah, 21. Born in the year 2000, Sha'Carri has been running since she was a girl. She began running track and field in Carter High School in Dallas before joining Louisiana State University.
In 2016 she won the 100m race at the AAU Junior Olympics in the States before making her international debut the following year.
In college, she was named SEC freshman track athlete of the year but it wasn't long before she decided to announce her move away from these types of competitions to become a professional athlete.
6. She's a member of the LGBTQ+ community
Just this year, Sha'Carri announced that she has a girlfriend. Following her Olympic trial win, she told USA Today: "My girlfriend actually picked my [hair] colour. She said it like spoke to her, the fact that it was just so loud and vibrant, and that's who I am."
Sha'Carri also shared a rainbow emoji on Twitter during Pride Month.