Sha’Carri Richardson was in the blocks and ready.
The field for the Women’s 100m Finals of the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in Oregon was set. The straightaway was clear for her ascent to stardom. All she needed to do was win and she was on to Tokyo.
Sha’Carri she did just that, blazing through the line in 10.87.
“I’m a f*ing Olympian!” she screamed as she raised her arms in victory.
She jogged around, her infectious smile matching her jubilation. Then she pounded up the stadium steps and collapsed in her grandmother’s arms. At that moment she captured the hearts of fans around the world, especially those outside of the sport. And she put her competition on notice that she was coming for gold and wouldn’t be denied.
But less than two weeks later, her triumph was snatched away after she failed a drug test.
Not for performance-enhancing drugs.
It shocked the world.
For Sha’Carri Richardson, dreams of summer gold were crushed by an archaic rule prohibiting the use of marijuana during competition. Never mind that it was legal in Oregon, or, as we discovered later, she was dealing with the recent death of her mother.
The reasoning didn’t matter and Sha’Carri’s Olympic moment was deferred to 2024.
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