At only 21 years old, Sha’Carri Richardson smoked the competition on Saturday (June 19) during her 100-meter performance, officially qualifying her for the Olympics. But while it’s a dream come true for the sprinter, it wasn’t the only thing on her mind.
Immediately after posting a 10.86, which was .13 seconds faster than second-place Javianne Oliver, Richardson went into the stands to embrace her family, which she says is everything to her.
"My family has kept me grounded," said Richardson in a post-event interview after her first Olympic trials in Eugene, Oregon. "This year has been crazy for me. Going from just last week, losing my biological mother, and I'm still here."
After being asked to expound on the shocking revelation, Richardson went deeper on what her family means to her.
“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,” she said. "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.”
Richardson concluded: "And I'm 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."
"I'm highly blessed and grateful... My family is my everything. My everything until the day I'm done."— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) June 20, 2021
Sha'Carri Richardson with so many emotions after earning a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team.@usatf | #TrackFieldTrials21 x #TokyoOlympics pic.twitter.com/8ujBpBSwVC
Following her freshman year at LSU, during which she won the 2019 NCAA title in the 100-meter dash, Richardson turned pro. Even prior to Saturday’s trials, she became a household name, posting the second-fastest time in the 100-meter in the world this year.
During April’s Miramar Invitational, Richardson posted a 10.72, which is the sixth-fastest time in history. Earlier this month, Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce beat that time with a 10.63.
Richardson will look to qualify for the 200M later this week during trials.
Watch Sha’Carri Richardson’s incredible Juneteenth run below.
Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images