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Sha’Carri Richardson explains wig throw ahead of career victory in 2023

Sha’Carri Richardson explains wig throw ahead of career victory in 2023

In July 2023, Sha’Carri Richardson captured worldwide attention with her bold move at the U.S. Track and Field Championships. Before taking victory in the 100m with a world-best time of 10.71 seconds, Richardson made a statement by throwing her bright orange wig onto the track. This symbolic gesture revealed her braids and marked a moment of self-expression.

Sha’Carri Richardson shows confidence

Richardson spoke about her iconic moment in a behind-the-scenes video for Vogue magazine, explaining: “My head. I’ll never change my confidence. But at the same time, I learned that there’s a way I can carry it much more gracefully. That’s where that moment came from.”

Her hairdresser, Key Rentz, also remembered the moment. Rentz said, “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.”

Richardson’s confidence goes beyond her looks. “Every time you step out on the track, it’s a validation of the time you’ve put in, the sacrifices you make every day,” she explained to Vogue. “When I step out on the start line, it’s about getting the work done. I know there’s joy waiting for me at the other end, at the finish line. But I also know I have to earn that happiness.”

Looking to the future

Richardson will compete at the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, representing Team USA. But her path has not been without challenges. After being disqualified from the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo due to a positive doping test, Richardson’s return marks a powerful comeback.

Looking back on her journey, Richardson said, “I’m not back, I’m better.” Her resilience and dedication have been a source of inspiration. “The fact that I can stand here and be the athlete that I was, I’m the woman that I was. 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.”

Richardson continues to be inspired by legendary athletes like Florence Griffith Joyner. “I became interested in Flo-Jo after my mom discovered my love of athletics. Flo-Jo’s influence on me is definitely her creativity and her freedom to express herself in a way that no other athlete ever has,” she told Vogue.