Mondo Duplantis and Sha’Carri Richardson are two of the biggest athletes that compete in very different disciplines, so how do they know each other?

Duplantis and Richardson’s friendship

Swedish pole vaulter Duplantis and American sprinter Richardson have both become somewhat of a household name in their respective disciplines. 

In 2023, they both had a very successful season, with Duplantis ultimately winning the World Athlete of The Year-Field and Richardson being awarded with the United States Track and Field Athlete (USATF) Jackie Joyner-Kersee Female Athlete Of The Year.

Outside of their achievements, however, is a friendship that has been going strong for years.

Although they compete as rivals representing different nations today, the two had a shared history back in college. In 2018, Richardson and Duplantis both enrolled at Louisiana State University as freshmen, and both graduated as NCAA champions with NCAA records. In 2019, Richardson won “The Bowerman” trophy, while Duplantis was a finalist for the same esteemed award.

Moments when their friendship was evident

During the World Athletics Championships (WAC) in Budapest, Richardson could be heard in the background screaming and cheering for Duplantis as he tried to clear the 5.70-meter height.

Their alma mater shared a throwback photo of the two after dominating the WAC, with Richardson leaving with three medals in the 100m, 200m, and 4x100m events and Duplantis reaching the top of the podium with a height of 6.10 meters.

Mondo spoke warmly of Richardson during a press conference, remarking that it seemed like only yesterday that they were teenagers and first-year college students.

He also talked about how they both had very big dreams and knew they would end up where they are.

Richardson, on the other hand, described Duplantis as “one of her favorite people in life” during a Budapest interview with NBC. In 2019, Richardson also shared a photo of her and Duplantis during the Bowerman Award ceremony.

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Cover Photo: IG