Sunday June 20th 2021
Sprinter explains her loss
The tragedy of victory opens up afterwards
Sha’Carri Richardson is not just a world class athlete. But also a person who “wants to be heard and understood”. After her victory in the US trials over 100 meters, she describes how she deals with a tragic loss.
US top sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson qualified for her first Olympic Games despite great emotional stress. After the 21-year-old had booked the Tokyo ticket over 100 meters at the trials in Eugene in an impressive manner, she reported in an interview with the winners about the death of her birth mother.
“I’m still here. Last week I found out that my biological mother had died. And yet I decided to pursue my dreams and make my family proud,” said Richardson. “Everyone sees my poker face, but only my family and my coach know what I go through every day. ” Richardson, protégé of the controversial ex-sprinter Dennis Mitchell, was abandoned by her birth mother at an early age and grew up with her aunt.
She had reported openly about psychological problems: “I have a therapist,” she said. People should know that athletes “go through problems too. We are human just like everyone else. But at the end of the day we all want to be heard and understood”.
In Eugene, where she ran 10.89 seconds in the final after a wind-assisted 10.64 in the semifinals, she thanked her remaining family with emotion. “I’m so grateful, without her, especially without my grandmother, I wouldn’t exist,” she said: “My family is everything to me.”
The young sprinter, who is often compared to sprint icon Florence Griffith-Joyner because of her optical extravagance, has very strong competition in the fight for the first Olympic women’s gold over 100 meters since Gail Devers. At the beginning of June, Jamaica’s two-time Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce had run into second place on the “all-time” best list with a regular 10.63 seconds. On Friday, the Nigerian Blessing Okagbare also came in at the national trials (with slightly irregular wind support) on 10.63.