A Moment With Sha’Carri Richardson

The superstar Nike athlete on style, the Olympics, and what we might expect from her in Paris.

From the moment Sha’Carri Richardson hit the track in April 2021, winning the 100m sprint in a blistering 10.86 seconds and qualifying for the delayed 2020 Olympics, her star power was undeniable. With her flowing hair, colorful long nails, and dynamic charisma to match, Richardson was the long awaited heir to the legendary Florence Griffith Joyner — an instant fan favorite. Unfortunately, that was a dream deferred, with Richardson deemed ineligible to compete due to testing positive for cannabis. While technically the substance is legal in her home state of Oregon, it’s banned from the sport and labeled as a performance enhancer. Richardson, despite the overwhelming support, would have to wait for her taste of Olympic glory.

Three years later the sprinter is better than ever, just in time for the 2024 games. The numbers speak for themselves: In July 2023, Richardson won the 100 meter dash in the U.S. Championships clocking in at 10.82 seconds. Then she managed to go even faster, running the same race at 10.65 seconds at the 2023 World Championships in Budapest. Off the track, Richardson has also made herself a name in fashion, serving as the face of Nike’s latest Jacquemus collaboration. And with Paris less than 100 days away, she’s become the face of not only her sport, but also Team USA — the superstar athlete who is awaiting her inevitable golden coronation.

But before all of that can happen, Richardson is happy to simply be an athlete and model. We caught up with her at the Nike Air event in Paris, where she chatted about all things style, Olympics, and of course, nails. 

What do the Olympics mean to you?

The Olympics for most athletes is an opportunity to compete against the best on a world stage. But to me, it’s that plus a time I can represent my family, my community, and myself globally as well. It’s where the greats make another mark on history. 

How does it feel to be working with Nike both as an athlete and starring in the Jacquemus x Nike ads? 

Nike has always been a brand that is for the athletes and to work with them where I can be my authentic self has been really nice. The Jacquemus x Nike campaign is really cool. Everyone who made that vision come to life deserves their flowers. The people, clothes and the content are amazing. 

You’re known for incredible style — can you describe what draws you to a look and what inspires you? 

Honestly, I wear what I think looks good and just as important feels good. I think more recently, I’ve been inspired by the different places that I travel to and the cultures that I see. 

For many athletes, style and performance go hand in hand. Would you say that describes you? 

That definitely describes me. When you look good, you feel good, and will perform well. The track is just like a runway where performance and style meet. 

Do you have special nails planned for the Olympics? Can you give us any hints on what to expect? 

It’s going to be special. I haven’t thought about it yet but know that the nails will look good. I typically don’t plan that far in advance what they’ll look like. But again, it will be special. 


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