Sha’Carri Richardson Pulling Off Her Orange Wig Before the Championship Race Is Epic

Getty / Christian Petersen

Sha’Carri Richardson gave a new definition to the words “quick change” at the U.S. Track and Field Championships on July 7, tearing off her bright orange wig just moments before the race to reveal long blond braids underneath. The 23-year-old athlete tossed her signature hairstyle on the track behind her, staring the camera down and shaking out her previously hidden cornrows. “Oh wow! She means business,” one commenter said in a live reaction, with the crowd cheering in the background. Without her fiery ponytail, fans could also see the intricate star and heart-shaped patterns on the sides of Richardson’s head.

Richardson went on to win the 100m with her new look, finishing the race in a mere 10.82 seconds. This marked the start of her official comeback season, earning her both a national title and a spot in the 2024 Summer Olympics. “I’m ready, mentally, physically, and emotionally, and I’m here to stay,” she said in an interview with NBC Sports following her performance. “I’m not back. I’m better.”

Richardson was previously suspended from the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 after a positive marijuana test – a call many believed to be unfair given that it’s not a performance-enhancing drug – and didn’t qualify for the World Championships in 2022. But as indicated by her hair, this year marks the start of a brand new era. Richardson’s wig reveal proves that she isn’t here to mess around. If you’re hearing about her for the first time, there’s no better first impression. And for those who already know her, think of this as an official reintroduction.

Related: Sha’Carri Richardson Just Debuted a New Icy-Blond Hair Color Ahead of Her Comeback

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