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Sha’Carri Richardson reveals why she will take off her wig on the racetrack in 2023

Sha’Carri Richardson reveals why she will take off her wig on the racetrack in 2023

Sha’Carri Richardson sees the 2024 Olympics as her chance for redemption. After a great performance at the 2021 Olympic qualifiers, she tested positive for THC and missed her chance to compete for the U.S. team at the Tokyo Games. Since then, she’s been determined to prove she’s up to the challenge this time around. “I’m not back,” she says. “I’m better.”

In an interview for the August 2024 digital issue of Vogue, the superstar sprinter talked about her evolution as an athlete, her personal style and the significance of a viral moment she had on the track last year.

“I will never change my confidence. But at the same time, I learned that there is a way to wear it much more gracefully. That was the moment,” she said in an interview with Vogue.

Richardson’s confidence was evident at the U.S. Track and Field Championships in July 2023, when she removed her signature orange wig, which she had worn in so many races, before the start of the race to reveal a beautiful pair of ombre braids.

“Oh wow, she means business,” one of the race commentators can be heard saying in the background as the wig lies on the track.

Richardson won that race with a time of 10.82 seconds and became the national champion who will represent the United States at the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.

Key Rentz, who did Richardson’s braids for the race, told Vogue she was initially worried that Sha’Carri wouldn’t like her style when she showed up to the race wearing the wig. But as soon as she took the wig off, Rentz knew exactly what message Richardson was trying to convey. “When I saw her rip it, 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,” Rentz told Vogue.

Richardson, who is as known for her creative hairstyles and acrylic nails as she is for her supersonic speed on the track, credits the inspiration for her track style to legendary athlete Florence Griffith-Joyner (aka Flo-Jo), who is also known for her creative outfits and colorful nails.

“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,” she said.

Richardson added that she sees the track as an opportunity to showcase her style and express herself, which hopefully means fans will get to see that style in full glory at the Summer Games.

“The way I walk the track is almost like I’m strutting down the runway. Fashion and sport are one and the same – an expression of your own personality, an expression of flow,” she said. “Basically, my career is my runway.”

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