Olympic hopeful Sha’Carri Richardson still has her sights set on competing in the Games.
Richardson sent a clear message about her ambitions to her followers via Instagram Stories when she shared a scenic photo from a trip abroad to Paris, France, the next host city of the Games. Her caption read: “Paris 2024 ❤️🔥🤞🏾history will be made.”
The 21 year-old sprinter qualified in June for this year’s Tokyo Games but never made it to the Games. As part of Olympic Trials protocols, Richardson submitted a drug test sample, which later revealed she had used marijuana at the time of competition. As a result she was hit with a suspension from competition and was forced to miss out on what would have been her first Olympics appearance.
But Richardson isn’t one to count herself out, let alone allow others to do so. Even while watching the Games like the millions of other spectators, Richardson reminded people of her confidence. In July, a “Missing me yet?” tweet sent out by Richardson after the women’s 100 meters heats began, the very event she would have competed in, struck a nerve with some spectators.
The following month she again became the topic of conversation. History-making Olympic sprinter Allyson Felix spoke about people continuing to show up and cheer for Richardson as she rebounds from her Olympic blunder.
“I hope that she’s just supported. I hope people rally around her,” said the 11-time Olympic medalist during her Aug. 24 “Jimmy Kimmel Live” appearance. While the remark was rooted in good intentions, Richardson’s response was the complete opposite.
The former Louisiana State University athlete reacted with a post stating, “Encouraging words on TV shows are just as real as well nothing else.”
That same month Richardson hit the track for her race since the Olympic Trials. It was a disappointment for those hoping the very outwardly confident sprinter would smoke her opponents. Instead, she finished in ninth place.
“This is one race. I’m not done. You know what I’m capable of,” said Richardson after coming in last in the Nike Prefontaine Classic women’s 100 meters. “Count me out if you want to. Talk all the sh-t you want. Because I’m here to stay. I’m not done. I’m the sixth-fastest woman in this game ever. Can’t nobody ever take that from me.”
Her big talk and less than stellar results this summer made her a running joke and easy target for critics online, as well as the recipient of unsolicited advice from retired sprinter Usain Bolt.
“I would tell Sha’Carri to train harder and to be focused and not say too much,” said Bolt in September while speaking to the New York Post. “If you talk that big talk, you have to back it up. So just train hard and focus on that. And try to come back do it, and then talk about it.”