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Debate

Is Sha'Carri Richardson's Vogue collaboration a bold move or a desperate cry for attention?

Sha’Carri Richardson has seen both the sides of limelight. “I’m not worried about the world anymore. I’ve seen the world be my friend, I’ve seen the world turn on me,” she had said after qualifying for the 100-meter semifinals at the 2023 World Athletics Championships. But the world takes great interest in the behind-the-scenes snippets of Sha’Carri’s blazing runs. To have a glimpse of that, Vogue recently sat with Richardson after the defending 100m world champion sealed her 100m spot for the Paris Olympics with a 10.71s run at the trials.

PS: double checking while we write that, for apparently, her statistics landed Richardson and Vogue in some trouble. The magazine’s latest collaboration with Richardson, who is off to her Olympic debut in Paris, was a rager, so to speak. However, a few hitches have caught the attention of enthusiasts and, unfortunately, for the wrong reasons. Let us take a look.

Vogue sets the records wrong

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“Sha’Carri is Goes for Gold,” the Vogue issue’s title and cover image both set a solid tone for the information it contains. However, a slip-up during the advertising of the issue attracted brutal reactions from the track and field community. On 9th July, the official Vogue Magazine X handle added a post, displaying the cover photo and the link to the article. Those understandably attracted a lot of eyes to it. But it was the caption of the post that spiraled into a fiasco.

Poll of the day

Do you think Sha'Carri Richardson's Vogue collaboration was a mistake?

Yes, it was a disaster

No, it was a bold move

I'm indifferent

It read, “For track and field fans, the 100-meter sprint goes by in a burst—just seconds and it’s over. But for Olympics star and world record-holder Sha’Carri Richardson, the path to the starting blocks is a long one.” Spot the errors? Yes, there are not one, but two. Indeed, the track and field buffs certainly did.

The text calls Sha’Carri Richardson an ‘Olympics star’ and a ‘world-record holder,’ both of which are incorrect. Richardson will be making her debut in the Olympics in Paris. In 2021, despite qualifying for the Olympics, she was subsequently disqualified after testing positive for marijuana. Therefore, she has not been to the Olympics before.

As for the world record holder, both the 100m and 200m world records were set by late athlete Florence Griffith Joyner. While Richardson might be eyeing those, she has yet to surpass them. There are more scopes to raise doubt if we go through the article.

In the very first paragraph, it writes, “Most people aren’t Sha’Carri Richardson, the fastest woman in the world.” One can very well dispute the claim while looking at the 100m all-time list:

RankAthleteTime
1Florence GRIFFITH-JOYNER10.49
2Elaine THOMPSON-HERAH10.54
3Shelly-Ann FRASER-PRYCE10.60
4Carmelita JETER10.64
5Marion JONES, Shericka JACKSON, Sha’Carri RICHARDSON10.65

Quite correctly, Elaine Thompson-Herah is referred to as the “Fastest woman living.” On the other hand, Sha’Carri’s 200m ranking on the all-time list is even more bleak. Flo-Jo (21.34s), Shericka Jackson ( 21.41s), and Elaine Thompson-Herah (21.53s) sits comfortably in the top three. Sha’Carri secures a 32nd spot with her time of 21.92s. Even her teammate Gabby Thomas is way ahead of her with her 4th position on the list (21.60s). Let us also not forget the results from the Olympic trials.

Although Sha’Carri reigned in the forte- the 100m race, once again she faltered in 200m. Her season openers in 200m were not up to the mark. In her season opener in the Xiamen Diamond League, she settled for the second place in 22.99s. Whereas in the second race of the season at the Shanghai Diamond League, Sha’Carri Richardson secured third place in 23.11. This trend remained at the trials as she secured only a fourth spot losing out to Gabby Thomas, Brittany Brown, and budding talent McKenzie Long costing her the Olympics spot.

Indeed Sha’Carri Richardson has all it takes to rewrite the records books and she has the zeal to do it. “No matter what. Most people, they only think of track every four years. The Olympics, that’s all there is—those few seconds on TV. But for me, track is my life on a day-to-day basis. Everything I do—what I eat, what I drink, if I stay up too late—it’s all reflected on the track. Every choice. That’s what the world doesn’t see,” She said in the conversation with Vogue.

But she has yet to travel some distance to actually earn the tag. Sha’Carri is widely compared to Flo-Jo for her fashion choices. But when it comes to the tracks, it is only the 100m that is considered as the prime event of Sha’Carri. As goes the saying, she ran in the 200m races early in the season only to prime herself for the 100m. But to be branded as the fastest woman in the world, she might have to prove that in both the event like that of Flo-Jo.

While that might become a reality in the future, for now, fans who have been following her trajectory for long were upset at the grave mistake of Vogue. And taking to the comment section below the tweet, they unanimously called out this error.

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Sha’Carri Richardson has yet to enter the league, fans remind

When it comes to their favorites, track and field loyalists barely ever tolerate inaccuracies. So was the case with Sha’Carri Richardson and Vogue. One fan bluntly wrote, “Epic fail. Sha’Carri is a great sprinter who will be going to her first Olympics. She is not the world record holder, although she has the talent to do so.” The fan was to the point. They termed this an ‘epic fail,’ and provided a subtle reminder: Richardson is indeed in the league of the world’s greatest but is yet to be crowned with the titles.

At the U.S. Olympic Trials, Richardson did present a teaser of her incredible skills. With her victory, she hit three targets with a single sprint. Gold finish? Check. Paris Olympics qualification? Check. Fastest women’s 100 time of this year? Check. Thus, she is a spectacular runner, as agreed by another fan. But they seemed appalled by the incorrect information. “She has never run in the Olympics and she’s not broken any world records. Is she a good runner, yes, but please stop with the sensationalism that’s based in falsehoods,”they wrote, calling out Vogue for their attempt to generate a hype based on untrue facts.

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Sha’Carri Richardson stormed past the finish line at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest last year, in a record time of 10.65. That did make her the 100m world champion, a title that she will now be entering Paris with. But one the fans can only imagine already calling her an Olympic star as they hilariously wrote,“Olympic star? World record holder? Okay, got it. Not the world that we live in. The alternate one,” they write, making a cheeky dig at the mistake made by the magazine.

Moreover, whether Richardson returns full or empty-handed from Paris, she will certainly be attaining the mark- of being an Olympian. But calling her an Olympic star 17 days ahead of her impending debut? Doesn’t sound right to a fan. After all, the world has seen her slipping away from the Olympic dream once. Therefore comes the reminder. “You’re NOT an Olympic star unless you’ve actually participated in an Olympic event AT THE OLYMPICS.” What is your reaction to the errors? Let us know below.