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Sha’Carri Richardson talks about her victory as a wig thrower before the Olympic Games

Sha’Carri Richardson talks about her victory as a wig thrower before the Olympic Games

In July 2023, Sha’Carri Richardson ran the 100-meter championship with a world-best time of 10.71 seconds, winning her first World Games appearance for the U.S. team. Before her victory, the star athlete made a statement by removing her wig and revealing a braid. She threw the bright orange hairpiece onto the track before crossing the finish line.

“My head,” she laughed when asked where the idea came from to appear in a behind-the-scenes video of her last photo shoot with FASHION Magazine. The 24-year-old is featured on the digital cover of the August 2024 issue. “I will never change my confidence. But at the same time, I’ve learned that there is a way to wear it much more gracefully. That’s the real reason for this moment.”

Sha’Carri Richardson Team USA

Athlete Sha’Carri Richardson poses during the Team USA Paris 2024 Olympic portrait shoot on Stage 16 at NBC Universal Studios in Los Angeles, California on November 17, 2023.

Harry How/Getty Images

Her hairdresser, who also appears in the clip, reflected on the dramatic revelation of her job.

“I was like, ‘Oh no, she didn’t like her hair. Why is she still wearing the wig?’ When I saw her rip it up, I was like, ‘Oh my God, yes, ma’am, I know that’s true.’ I understood the symbolism when she did it. I understand what she meant by that.”

Richardson will compete in her first Olympic Games later this month and will compete for Team USA in Paris after running the world’s fastest time in the 100m at last month’s qualifiers in Eugene, Oregon. The Dallas native was unable to compete in the pandemic-postponed 2021 Tokyo Olympics after being disqualified following a positive drug test for marijuana.

“Every time you step onto the track, it is a confirmation of the time you have invested, the sacrifices you make every day,” explains Richardson in FASHION. “When I start a race, it’s about getting the job done. I know that there’s joy waiting for me at the other end, at the finish line. But I also know that I have to earn that happiness.”

Read the full profile here and see the cover photo below.