Sha’Carri Richardson and her hairdresser reflect on the ‘symbolism’ behind her viral wig throw in 2023

Sha’Carri Richardson and her hairdresser reflect on the ‘symbolism’ behind her viral wig throw in 2023

The track star talks about her hair and more for the latest digital issue of Vogue

<p>NBC Olympic & Paralympic Games/Twitter</p>
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<p>NBC Olympic & Paralympic Games/Twitter</p>
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NBC Olympic and Paralympic Games/Twitter

Sha’Carri Richardson sheds her wig at the 2023 US Track and Field Championships

A year after making that defiant beauty statement at the 2023 U.S. Track and Field Championships, Sha’Carri Richardson looks back on her viral wig throw.

The 24-year-old sprinter, who FashionThe digital cover star of ‘s August 2024 issue spoke to the publication about what inspired her to unveil her braids before the 100-meter championship race last July.

“I will never change my confidence. But at the same time, I have learned that there is a way to wear it much more gracefully. That is the reason for this moment,” she said Fashion on the set of her cover shoot.

Related: Sha’Carri Richardson sheds wig before winning 100m in US Championship comeback

“I’ve only been able to get to this point through experience and having the right people around me. I know that no matter what I do, no matter what decision I make, I know it comes from me,” she added.

Key Rentz, the Orlando-based braider who styled the athlete’s hair for the competition, also shared, “I was like, ‘Oh no, she didn’t like her hair. Why is she still wearing the wig?’ When I saw her ripping it up, I was like, ‘Oh my God, yes, ma’am, I know that’s right.’ I understood the symbolism when she did it. I understand what she meant by that.”

Of working with Rentz, Richardson said, “Key gives me an energy that I can almost feel on my scalp even when I’m doing my hair.”

Related: Sha’Carri Richardson sheds wig before winning 100m in US Championship comeback

By rocking daring hairstyles, hitting the track in fashionable looks and breaking records with long acrylic nails on her fingers (“I got into nails because of my grandmother,” Richardson said Fashion), She proves that she does things on her terms.

But Richardson draws inspiration from other women in the field, particularly the late legend Florence Griffith Joyner. “I became interested in Flo-Jo (Griffith Joyner’s nickname) after discovering my love of athletics through my mother,” Richardson said. Fashion“Flo-Jo’s influence on me is definitely her creativity and her freedom to express herself in a way that no other athlete has ever done. She shows beauty and can still show that she has worked hard.”

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<p>Patrick Smith/Getty</p>
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<p>Patrick Smith/Getty</p>
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Patrick Smith/Getty

Sha’Carri Richardson

Related: Meet the U.S. women’s gymnastics team heading to the Paris Olympics

In two weeks, Richardson will travel with Team USA to the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris – four years after she was disqualified from the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Richardson’s comeback can only be summed up with her own slogan: “I’m not back, I’m better.”

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“The fact that I can stand here and be the athlete that I’ve always been, I’m the woman that I’ve always been,” Richardson told PEOPLE when discussing her partnership with Danone in December 2023. “I’m wiser. I’m calmer, I’m more disciplined and I’m more focused on the responsibilities that I have as well as my passion for what I do.”

For more information on all the Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls, visit For ongoing coverage before, during and after the Games, visit Watch the Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games on NBC and Peacock beginning July 26.

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