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Sha'Carri Richardson
via Instagram @she_is_me_iam_her

Get to know the Olympic track star competing in glam

TextHannah Bertolino

US athlete Sha’Carri Richardson won the 100-meter race wearing a wig, lashes, and a full set of acrylics

If you’ve logged onto the internet the past week, you probably have seen photos circulating of athlete Sha’Carri Richardson at last Saturday’s (June 19) US Olympic trials. Besides securing a place in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics for running the 100-metre dash in just 10.86 seconds, the 21-year-old Texas-raised track star went viral for competing while in glam.

In photos from the race, Richardson can be seen wearing a tangerine-coloured lace-front wig, a full set of diamond-covered acrylic nails, and lash extensions on the track – which has resulted in an outpouring of positive comments online supporting the Black, queer athlete. “I love when Black Women go in and command the room they walk in. Especially in sports,” one commenter wrote on Twitter. Another stated: “Sha’Carri Richardson wins Olympic trials in full lace, lashes, and nails on Juneteenth. A true national treasure.”

In an interview with The Washington Post, Richardson explained that her girlfriend picked out her orange wig because of its “loud” and “vibrant” colour. “That's who I am. She just wanted me to be able to make a statement — let's continue to show the world I'm a force to be reckoned with.”

Richardson also credited 1988 Olympics winner Florence Griffith Joyner  – known both for being the fastest woman of all time and for her eclectic personal style – as beauty inspiration. “If the amazing Flo-Jo had long nails, there was no excuse why I couldn't have long nails,” Richardson told The Associated Press

Besides her fierce racing look, photos of Richardson hugging her grandmother immediately after the race also spread across the internet. After her win, Richardson shared that her biological mother passed away the week before the race, as well as stating that she credits her family’s support and her own personal talent for her success. 

“No matter what colour my hair is, no matter how long my nails are, no matter how outspoken I am, my talent speaks for itself,” said Richardson. “When I step on the track, it doesn’t matter what I look like or what colour I am. If I can do it, I’m (going to) do it – the talent speaks for itself.”

Check out Richardson's Instagram “hair dump” below.

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