We’re getting our first qualification news for LGBTQ+ US athletes going to the Tokyo Olympics! And one track star is trending online for her big moment.
Sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson officially qualified for the U.S. Olympic Team this past weekend. Richardson won her qualification by winning the 100-meter women’s sprint in Oregon.
But while the 21-year-old’s amazing track time of 10.87 seconds or her bright orange hair and shining smile were newsworthy enough, her stories of inspiration and loss are what’s buzzing on social media.
In a post-race interview with NBC Sports, Richardson shared that her biological mother died just a week before the trials. And for Richardson, who celebrated her win by running up the Hayward Field stairs to hug her grandmother, family means everything.
“My family has kept me grounded,” Richardson said. “This year has been crazy for me. Going from just last week losing my biological mother passed away and still choosing to pursue my dream, still coming out here and still trying to make the family that I still have on this earth proud.”
“My family is my everything,” she added. “My everything until the day I’m done.”
— On Her Turf (@OnHerTurf) June 20, 2021
Though, there is one non-family member that has also inspired Sha’Carri Richardson. As the athlete told USA Today on Friday, she also felt inspired by her girlfriend.
“My girlfriend actually picked my [hair] color,” Richardson shared. “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 Richardson (@itskerrii) June 19, 2021
Sha’Carri Richardson is a rising star within the world of track and field. The Louisiana State University alum started making waves in 2019 when she won the 2019 NCAA title with a shocking 10.75. That set a collegiate record. And while she failed to make the U.S. national team for the world championships in 2019, she has now started to course correct with this Olympics qualification.
Though for social media users, Richardson’s words of family, love, and self-promotion are what’s most important.
for ppl asking how do i know she’s gay ! here’s some posts from her tiktok and ig ! i used gay as an umbrella term here she may be bi ! pic.twitter.com/B06mcSLsaC
— nia (@nee_yahh) June 20, 2021
Sha’Carri Richardson, a 21 yr old gay black woman, qualifying for the Olympics during Pride Month… I- 😭 pic.twitter.com/i0CobBlRrU
— Hassan Jr. 👑 (@c_papii_) June 21, 2021
Sha’Carri Richardson is the moment. She is THAT girl. 💕 pic.twitter.com/X7VjSjKmov
— MEFeater Magazine (@mefeater) June 21, 2021
We look forward to seeing how Sha’Carri Richardson will do in Tokyo, Japan later this year.