It seems like Black Women are showing up at the Olympic trials these past few weeks. Whether it’s breaking world records or demonstrating a protest, Black women are in the headlines.
Sha’Carri Richardson If you follow track and field, Sha’Carri isn’t a surprise to you. She won the NCAA 100 meter race in 2019 and the Bowerman award, which is the highest individual honor in collegiate track and field. But for those of us who were not aware of her accolades, we now know who she is. She has gained a lot of attention during the past few weeks, showing that she is someone to be reckoned with on the track. Sha’ Carri has one the fastest times in the 100-meter dash with a 10.89, which is .24seconds short of Flo Jo’s world record. Not only are her skills recognizable, but her style is, too, as she is known to have colorful hair at meets and qualified to go to Tokyo with bright orange hair and long nails. After winning, Sha’Carri ran to her grandmother to celebrate, only later revealing that she had lost her biological mother a few weeks before the Olympic trials. Unfortunately, she will not be competing in the Olympics because of her positive test results for marijuana. Many people were betting she would win the gold in Tokyo, and she will be sorely missed.
Gabby Thomas, a Harvard graduate, qualified for the Olympics in the 200 meters. She also has the second-fastest time with 21.61 just a few milliseconds under Flo Jo’s world record. During the qualifications, she ran against Allyson Felix, a decorated Olympian. Gabby almost did not make it to the trials after her doctors found a benign tumor on her back, which caused the doctors to question if Gabby had cancer. Luckily it was only a benign tumor, and that day she made a promise to God that if she was healthy, she would win the race. And she did!
Sydney McLaughlin is the first woman to run the 400 meters under 52 seconds. Impressively, she did this while running against the previous world record holder, Dalilah Muhammad. Muhammad and McLaughlin have a history of competing against each other over the years. It was only a few weeks before when Muhammad broke the world record at the U.S. National. In her interview, Sydney recognizes her coach Bobby Kersee for improving her skills. We will see both Sydney and Dalilah in Tokyo.