Putting Her on the Same Pedestal as Caitlin Clark, Dawn Staley Gives Sha’Carri Richardson the Ultimate Title

Published 04/11/2024, 11:15 AM EDT

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Did veteran South Carolina Gamecocks head coach Dawn Staley put the ultimate title debate over 100m World Champion Sha’Carri Richardson to rest? Well, it certainly looks like it. After winning a national title on Sunday, Staley announced vacation time at Disney World, and deservedly so. However, as it turns out, she was last spotted in Paris shaking hands with the likes of Serena Williams, Sha’Carri Richardson, and A’ja Wilson.   

It seems both Richardson and Staley met at the stadium premises at the UEFA Champions League match between Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona. Staley shared a video of the surroundings with the caption, “Where y’all at?” The video also highlighted the fact that she had the company of A’ja Wilson with her.


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Just an hour later, the Hall of Famer coach, a three-time Olympic gold medalist, shared another post celebrating her encounter with Sha’Carri Richardson that saw Staley elevate Richardson to the same pedestal as Iowa’s Caitlin Clark. Staley’s distinctive style, highlighted by an oversized checkered jacket, complimented Richardson’s infectious excitement, who was clearly delighted to meet her idol!

Staley’s choice of words, referring to Richardson as “GOAT” (Greatest of All Time), underscored the track star’s meteoric rise and her potential to dominate at the upcoming Paris Olympics. To be precise, Coach Staley’s caption read, “And another one….GOAT that is! @itsshacarri.” And to this, the star-struck athlete reacted, 

Coach that is all you 🔥!! You’re an icon. Meeting a legend. Y’all I was startstruck loll.


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A post shared by Dawn Staley (@staley05)

As both the track and field and NBA communities marvel at this convergence, did you know that Dawn Staley had also bestowed the title of “GOAT” upon Caitlin Clark just days prior?


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Caitlin Clark a GOAT despite contention with Iowa?

In an interview on April 7th, 2024, Dawn Staley shared her thoughts on Caitlin Clark (hailed as the NCAA Division I all-time leading scorer and a two-time national player of the year). Staley expressed her anticipation, hoping that there would be no alteration in Clark’s esteemed “GOAT” status by Sunday night as the Iowa Hawkeyes prepared to face the South Carolina Gamecocks for the championship title. Staley said, “If Caitlin wins the championship, she’s pretty damn good, yeah, like, she’s a GOAT.”

Coach continued, “I mean, she’s really damn good regardless. But winning the championship would seal the deal.” Then, in a moment that elicited a jovial uproar from the audience, coach Dawn Staley said, “I hope to the dear Lord she doesn’t.” As the Paris Olympics draw near and Sha’Carri Richardson gears up for her 2024 outdoor season debut, fans fervently hoped that this esteemed “GOAT” status would propel her to proudly wave the USA flag atop the podium in Paris.


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What are your thoughts on this epic meet-up? Comment below!

Read more: Paris Olympics 2024: Dakotah Lindwurm Recalls Horrific Journey From Homelessness to Dream Fulfillment – ‘Life Wasn’t Fair’


Written by:

Christaline Meyers


One take at a time

Christaline Meyers is a senior Olympics writer at EssentiallySports who specializes in gymnastics and alpine skiing. Christaline is one of the acclaimed authorities in the coverage of 6x All-Around champion, Simone Biles. She has written extensively, covering every detail of Biles’s life stories as well as providing her perspective on Simone Biles’ Yurchenko Double Pike controversy.
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Edited by:

Himanshu Sridhar