In Emotional Post-Race Interview, Dallas' Newest Olympian Says Her Mom Died Last Week

Sprinter Sha'Carri Richardson is headed to Tokyo to race in the women's 100m

Sha'Carri Richardson celebrates winning the Women's 100 Meter final on day 2 of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials at Hayward Field on June 19, 2021 in Eugene, Oregon.
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

What to Know

  • Sha'Carri Richardson, 21, is a Dallas native and attended Dallas Carter High School before going to LSU where she set a collegiate record.
  • Richardson ran a wind-aided 10.64 in the semifinal and 10.87 in the final.
  • Richardson will race in the women's 100m in the Tokyo Olympics.

When Dallas sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson crossed the finish line in the women's 100m in Eugene, Oregon on Saturday she knew at that moment she taken the next step in fulfilling her lifelong dream of being an Olympian.

Her very next step wasn't to Tokyo though, it was to the top of the stands where she hugged her grandmother, father, and other family members -- who she credits with keeping her grounded and focused while pursuing her dream.

After celebrating her win with family, and still catching her breath, the 21-year-old spoke with NBC Sports and was thrilled to say she was excited, nervous, and thrilled to be an Olympian.

"I am an Olympian. No matter what is said ... I am an Olympian. A dream since I've been young. I'm pretty sure everybody's dream as a track athlete," Richardson said. "Being happy is an understatement. Being excited, nervous, all of those feelings. I'm highly blessed and grateful."

During that interview Richardson said her family means everything to her and that they've kept her grounded in tough times, including losing her biological mother last week.

"My family has kept me grounded. This year has been crazy or me. Going from, just last week, losing my biological mother, and I'm still here. I'm still here. Last week finding out my biological mother passed way and still choosing to pursue my dreams, still coming out here and still making sure to make the family that I do still have on this earth proud," Richardson said. "Y'all see me on this track, and y'all see the poker face that I put on but nobody but them and my coach know what I go through on a day-to-day basis. I'm highly grateful for 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."

Asked later about her biological mother, Richardson declined to go into details but said, "I want to thank her for bringing me into this world. I respect her and love her. I know she loves me," NBC Olympics reported.

Watch Richardson's emotional interview in the tweet above.

Richardson grew up in Dallas and attended Carter High School before heading to LSU.

After just a single season at LSU in which she broke the 100m collegiate record, NBC Olympics said Richardson turned pro.

That was two years ago.

In April she ran 10.72 to become the sixth-fastest woman all-time at 100m. She said she began realizing the Olympics were attainable when first dipping into the 10-second range, but she remained patient.

On Saturday she wasn't the first out of the blocks in the final but recovered and sped past Javianne Oliver to finish with a 10.87. Oliver, at 10.99, finished second.

At just 5 feet 1 inches tall, according to Olympics.com, Richardson is historically shorter than most sprinters. It's generally easy to find her on the track though due to her changing hair color (it was fire orange during the trials).

“My girlfriend actually helped me pick this color,” Richardson told reporters. “She felt like it was like loud and encouraging. She was like, ‘If you go out there and be the best, you need to look the best. You need to make a statement.’”

See you in Tokyo Sha'Carri and best of luck from all of North Texas!

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