Jun 22, 2024; Eugene, OR, USA; Sha'Carri Richardson celebrates after winning the women's 100m semifinal in 10.86 during the US Olympic Team Trials at Hayward Field. | Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Sha’Carri Richardson is, barring another unexpected twist, going to compete in her first Olympic Games, citing personal growth and “a better understanding of myself” as key reasons for her.

At the U.S. Track and Field Olympic Trials this weekend, the 24-year-old Texan not only punched her ticket to the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics, but she also laid down a marker to her 100 meters rivals.

A time of 10.71 in Eugene makes her the fastest woman in the world so far this year.

There was a hug from ‘Big Momma’ — her grandmother, Betty Harp, who raised Richardson alongside the sprinter’s aunt, Shayaria, who was also her first coach. This was truly a redemption moment for them all to savor.

Three years ago, victory at the USA Olympic Trials secured a spot at the Tokyo Olympics, only for that to be struck off just days later due to a positive marijuana test that earned her a one-month suspension.

It was a doubly crushing blow for Richardson, who later explained she had smoked pot as a coping mechanism after learning via a reporter of the death of her biological mother. She apologized for not knowing “how to control my emotions.”

She opened up to the media once more in the post-race press conference Saturday, this time unapologetically.

“In the past three years, I’ve grown just a better understanding of myself,” explained the reigning world champion.

“A deeper respect and appreciation for my gift that I have in the sport and as well as my responsibility to the people that believe in and support me.

“I feel like all of those components have helped me grow and will continue to help me grow into the young lady that I have been divined and by God (have) been blessed to be.”

The sponsors are all over her, and Richardson’s global fanbase is growing rapidly. She hasn’t yet been to compete at an Olympics, but already has over three million Instagram followers.

Only two track and field athletes have more Instagram fans: Germany’s Alica Schmidt — dubbed the “world’s sexiest athlete” — and Indian gold medal-winning javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra.

A recent NBC promo featured Richardson getting her nails done with Cardi B, a fellow Black bisexual woman.

“I’ve been dying to meet you and I’ve been dying to talk to you,” says the Grammy Award-winning rapper.

Confident she would qualify for the Paris Olympics, Richardson extends a personal invitation to watch her compete in July. Cardi B replies: “I will come just for you… and shopping.”

@iamcardib Can’t wait to see my girl @ShaCarri “C.Rich” Richardson in one of my favorite places in the world…PARIS!! #ParisOlympics ♬ original sound – Cardi B

A burgeoning friendship is developing there. As for Richardson’s current relationship status, it’s unclear.

After winning at trials in 2021 with bright orange hair, she said her girlfriend had picked the color. A year later, Jamaican hurdler Janeek Brown was telling a podcast that they had broken up.

In an Instagram story, Richardson would go on to publicly acknowledge that they had been together.

More recently, she has been linked with fellow U.S. sprinter Christian Coleman, who showered her with praise in April at a media conference after the Diamond League meet in Xiamen, China, where they both won medals.

Coleman was hoping to seal his own passage to Paris in the 100-meter final at Hayward Field Sunday, but only finished fourth and missed out.

Regardless, Richardson is ready to inspire a generation all by herself.

“I’d say the message I’m sending out is to believe in yourself no matter what,” she is quoted as saying by AP after getting the job done at the weekend. 

“You want to remain solid in yourself. Stay grounded in yourself and your hard work.”

Meet all the athletes from

View the Athlete Database