IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

After missing Olympics, Sha'Carri Richardson teams up with Kanye West for new ad

Weeks after a failed drug test dashed her dreams for the Tokyo Olympics, the track phenom surprises fans by starring in a new ad.
/ Source: TODAY

Sha'Carri Richardson can’t be with Team USA at the Olympic Games this week, but that doesn’t mean fans of the track star won’t be able to see her shine.

Just as the competition kicks off in Tokyo, Richardson is taking part in a new campaign, nearly three weeks after a failed drug test left her out of the big event.

Beats by Dre dropped an ad staring Richardson Tuesday night, and the lush visuals are set to a new song by Kanye West, who also edited the one-minute piece.

The clip opens with a shot of the athlete on the starting blocks. The nighttime scene cuts to her warming up, and then she puts her hands together and looks upward in the glow of bright field lights.

At that moment, the lyrics from “No Child Left Behind,” a track on West’s soon-to-be released album, “Donda,” match her prayer-like stance, repeating the phrase, “He’s done miracles on me.”

Suddenly the visuals cut back to the beginning, this time showing Richardson as she launches off the starting blocks into a run. That’s when the tagline flashes across the screen: “Live Your Truth.”

Throughout the short video, she can be seen wearing the newly released Beats Studio Buds, though there’s no mention of the brand until the product name flashes on the screen in the final seconds.

Richardson qualified for the Tokyo Olympics after running the 100-meter in 10.86 seconds at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials, but after securing her spot in the games, she tested positive for THC, the chemical found in marijuana.

The news broke on July 1, and by the next day, the United States Anti-Doping Agency said Richardson had "accepted a one-month suspension,” leaving her out of the competition in which many saw her as a favorite.

Sha'Carri Richardson
Sha'Carri Richardson after winning the 100-meter final on day two of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials at Hayward Field on June 19, 2021, in Eugene, Oregon.Patrick Smith / Getty Images

In an interview with TODAY, she explained her test results, saying that the death of her biological mother, which happened one week before the trials, was a “triggering” event that left her in “a state of emotional panic.”

But even as she faced consequences that would devastate any athlete, she put her optimistic spirit on display, further noting, “This is just one game. I’m 21. I’m very young. Unlike most, I have plenty of games left in me to compete in, and I have plenty of talent that backs me up, because everything I do comes from me naturally: No steroids. … After my sanction is up, I’ll be back and ready to compete.”

Richardson shared the new ad on her Instagram Tuesday night, writing alongside it, “There will be ups and down(s) in life, but it’s important to remember to RUN YOUR OWN RACE.” She went on to announce that “another commercial and another new Ye song” would be out the next day.

Kanye West's 10th solo studio album, "Donda," will be released Friday.