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The Indiana Daily Student

Black Voices

Black Voices: #BlackGirlMagic: Black excellence on Team USA


Bright orange locks of hair flow in the wind as track star Sha’Carri Richardson runs toward the finish line on June 19. It took the 21-year-old 10.86 seconds to sprint 100-meters in the U.S. Olympic track and field trials. After taking first place in the event, she took to the stands to celebrate her win with her grandmother. 

Having qualified to participate on Team USA in the Tokyo Summer Olympics, Richardson is now the fastest woman in the United States and one of the fastest women in the world, according to the Washington Post. 

“I just want the world to know that I’m that girl,” she said in an interview after her race. 

She thanked her grandmother, her family, her girlfriend and her coach for keeping her grounded.

As team trials for the Olympics are happening, Black women such as Richardson, gymnast Simone Biles, Indiana-born track runner Lynna Irby and swimmer Simone Manuel have qualified to participate. These athletes will not only be representing the U.S., they will also be portraying the excellence within the Black community. 

#BlackGirlMagic has been used on Twitter to praise, support, and cheer on these Black women for their accomplishments. 

Lynna Irby, who graduated from Pike High School in Indianapolis will be participating in the 200-meter, 400-meter and 4x400-meter events. 

“Shoot for the stars, land on the moon, Olympian,” she said in a Twitter post

At the age of nine she began running. According to IndyStar, while she was in high school she never lost to another sprinter. By the end of her senior year and final track season at Pike, she was 55-0.

While participating in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Simone Biles won four gold medals, becoming the first American woman to do so, according to ABC News

“I can’t believe the time is here,” she said. “It’s been five years. I am grateful.” 

During this year's Olympic gymnastics trials, fans and spectators were able to see Biles perform, and many are excited to see what the 24-year-old will accomplish during the Olympics this year. 

The reliance and determination of these Black athletes, especially women athletes, is inspirational not only to the little Black girls watching the games from their TV but also to the other athletes they are competing against.

While Richardson’s biological mother passed away a week before the race, she will continue to make her living relatives proud.

“Without them, there would be no me,” she said. “Without my grandmother there would be no Sha’Carri Richardon. So my family is my everything, my everything until the day I’m done.”

The Olympics will begin July 23. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the international sporting event was postponed until summer 2021. The Olympic events will be streamed on NBC Olympic website and NBC’s Peacock platform. The 2024 Summer Olympics will proceed as planned in Paris.

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