It’s been an eventful year for burgeoning track star Sha’Carri Richardson. The 21-year-old quickly thrust her way into fans’ hearts and debates following her impressive performance at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials at the new Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, in June.
However, her Black girl magic show was quickly overshadowed by a failed drug test, suspension from competition, and subsequent total elimination from the Tokoyo Olympics. Richardson suffered another setback in her first post-suspension competition, last month’s Prefontaine Classic.
After coming in ninth and last in the 100 meters in the Oregon meet — well behind the Jamaican sprinters who swept the top three places in the same order they did in Tokyo — Richardson’s post-race behavior in an interview arguably came across as uncouth and image-damaging. More recently the former Louisiana State star finished fourth in the 200 meters at the Wanda Diamond League meet in Brussels, Belgium, on Sept. 3.
In a since-expired lengthy Instagram Story post uploaded to her account earlier this week, Richardson took some time out to reflect on her bumpy journey, beginning by sharing a quote. “There is a past version of you that is so proud of how far you’ve come,” the post began.
Later, she shared a snap of herself and wrote, “Learned so much this year, lose so much this year but not one time did I break babyyy. 21 and coming hard till I’m done.” She continued by sharing tribute honoring members of her close circle.
“I thank y’all for teaching me the strength I never knew I had. I thank you for teaching me my value before I even knew it existed. I thank y’all for teaching me to live my truth yet understand my future. I thank you for teaching me not to want for anything and to work for everything,” she wrote alongside each photo. “To my babies I WILL NEVER STOP SO YALL CAN KEEP GOING. 2022 I don’t feel sorry for any of you.”
As previously reported, Richardson’s past few months had been riddled with setbacks, although she found encouragement from fans, celebrities and various sporting organizations. However, her online squabbles and often misdirected jabs soon split her public support system. Many social media users suggested she should seek guidance, speculating that perhaps the young athlete was not ready for the pressures of the public eye.
“(If this is real) Someone really has to pull Sha’Carri to the side,” one Twitter user wrote last month referring to Richardson sarcastically responding to Allyson Felix’s seeming words of encouragement during a recent interview appearance. “She’s creating a lot of ill will for no reason. There’s prob no better mentor for a young (Black) female sprinter in the US than Allyson Felix.”