Sha’Carri Richardson now holds the title of the fastest woman in the world. She recently ran past some of the fastest sprinters in the world for the women’s 100m race at the World Athletics Championship in Budapest. Her final time was 10.65 seconds, a new record.

“I would say never give up,” Richardson said to NPR. “Never allow media, never allow outsiders, never allow anything but yourself and your fate to define who you are. I would say always fight. No matter what. Fight.”

Richardson has gone through a tumultuous past few years. Her comeback is the best way of proving her haters wrong after being counted out.

Sha’Carri Richardson for the Gold

Richardson rose to fame in 2019 as a track runner for Louisiana State University. All eyes were on the track star after she broke the 100m collegiate record with 10.75 seconds at the NCAA Division I Championships. From there, she became the one to watch. She consistently made headlines and had a massive support system of fans behind her. Then, her career came to a screeching halt after qualifying for the 2020 Summer Olympics.

Just a week prior to the race, she received news that her biological mother died. Because of the death, Richardson explained that she decided to indulge in cannabis to help her get through a difficult time. When she qualified for the 2020 Summer Olympics, after winning the women’s 100-meter dash with 10.86 in the United States Olympic Trials, she was drug tested and was deemed ineligible to compete.

After completing a counseling program, she was put on a one-month suspension by the United States Anti-Doping Agency. The suspension began on June 28, 2021, days after the final acceptance of any 2021 Tokyo Olympic competitors. After her suspension, she came back to the sport but her performances were lackluster. She finished last in the 100m race at the 2021 Prefontaine Classic, then was unable to make the 2022 Worlds team.

A Fresh Start

The year 2023 ushered in a new era for the runner. At the Budapest championship, she repeatedly shared a statement that she’s not back but rather she’s better. It’s a statement she has repeated throughout the year.

Month after month, her name has remained in the headlines as she’s continued to break new records despite many writing her off at her lowest points. What others viewed as her “fizzle and burn out” era, was really her realignment era. She is living proof that the mistakes you make do not make you who you are, and a comeback is always possible.