By Tom Schad, USA TODAY
The first sprint secured Sha’Carri Richardson’s place at the Tokyo Olympics. The second one might have been even sweeter. After winning the 100-meter final at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials Saturday with a time of 10.86 seconds, yelling in celebration as she crossed the finish line, Richardson took off into the stands. She scaled the concrete steps at Hayward Field and rounded the corner to Section 119, where her grandmother, Betty Harp, was waiting and smiling.
Then Richardson, one of the fastest American women ever, celebrated in the only way that felt right to her in the moment. She gave her grandmother a hug. “My grandmother is my heart. My grandmother is my superwoman,” Richardson said.”Honestly, that was one of my biggest goals in life – to have her see me compete in one of the highest levels, and be successful.”
Richardson, 21, said Harp has been a constant presence in her life, from her childhood in Dallas to her brief college stint at LSU, when she won a national title. The sprinter has fond memories of the time they spent cooking together, or just watching TV shows. She was always there, Richardson said.
“From Day 1 up until now,” she explained, “always being in my corner, no matter what I did, no matter if it was good, no matter if it was bad.”
Earlier, in a post-race interview with NBC, Richardson said that her family “has kept me grounded.” She also revealed that her biological mother recently died. She declined to go into details about their relationship with reporters in a news conference.
“That’s not anything I want to talk about, so I’m not going to get too much into details,” she said. “… But what I will say is I am grateful for her giving me life, bringing me into this world.”
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