Sha'Carri Richardson on Olympics: 'Watching It Made Me Want to Push Forward and Grow'

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVAugust 20, 2021

EUGENE, OREGON - JUNE 19: Sha'Carri Richardson reacts after competing in the Women's 100 Meter Semi-finals on day 2 of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials at Hayward Field on June 19, 2021 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)
Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

American sprinter Sha'Carri Richardson said she's "excited" about a return to competition after missing the Tokyo Olympics because of a one-month suspension after testing positive for THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, at the U.S. Olympic Trials in June.

Richardson described her emotions watching the 2021 Summer Games as bittersweet during an interview Friday on NBC's Today (via TMZ Sports).

"It was a moment of bitterness, but at the same time it was sweet," she said. "Because, it just gives me more—it gives me more time, it gives me more to show the world that I'm here to stay. ... Watching it made me want to push forward and just grow from that."

#TokyoOlympics @NBCOlympics

She's back and ready to run. <a href="https://twitter.com/itskerrii?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@itskerrii</a> joined <a href="https://twitter.com/TODAYshow?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TODAYshow</a> this morning to say that "she's here to stay" and is ready for this weekend's <a href="https://twitter.com/nikepreclassic?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@nikepreclassic</a> on NBC and <a href="https://twitter.com/peacockTV?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@peacocktv</a>.<a href="https://t.co/kBQh6yUDQU">pic.twitter.com/kBQh6yUDQU</a>

Richardson finished first in the women's 100 meters with a time of 10.86 seconds at the U.S. trials, which earned her a berth in the event at the Olympics.

The 21-year-old Dallas native accepted the suspension, which ruled her out of the 100 meters, but she remained eligible for the women's 4x100-meter relay later in the Games. USA Track & Field opted against picking her for that team, so she didn't compete in Tokyo.

Richardson explained she used marijuana after finding out her biological mother died in the days before the Olympic trials, but she told Today on Friday she's "responsible" for the positive test and ready to move forward with her career.

"At the end of the day, I did make a mistake but that doesn't take away from my talent," she said. "It doesn't take away from who I am."

The LSU product will get an immediate chance to score a statement victory Saturday in the Prefontaine Classic when she goes up against the Jamaican trio that swept the Olympic podium in the women's 100 meters.

Elaine Thompson-Herah set an Olympic record of 10.61 seconds to win the event for a second straight time after also doing so at the 2016 Rio Games. She was followed by countrywomen Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (10.74) and Shericka Jackson (10.76).

"I'm feeling overjoyed to getting back to doing what it is that I love to do," Richardson said on Today.

The women's 100 meters is scheduled for 4:41 p.m. ET on Saturday at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.