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.
Qué bonito es el atletismo. La velocista Sha'Carri Richardson animando a su amigo Mondo Duplantis (pértiga) poco antes de salir en su serie del 200.
— Álvaro García (@AlvaroGarciaCx) August 24, 2023
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 and sha’carri leaving Budapest with three 🥇 medals… 👀 pic.twitter.com/8btCPo5jQF
— LSU Track & Field (@LSUTrackField) August 27, 2023
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.
Mondo Duplantis 🇸🇪 on his freshman year in LSU with Sha'Carri Richardson 🇺🇲
They both got into college at the same time, won NCAA titles in their freshman year and set NCAA Records too!pic.twitter.com/hzGv47Ihzy
— Track & Field Gazette (@TrackGazette) September 15, 2023
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.
Mondo the only Goat I see !!! https://t.co/8hm5cTEiy0
— Sha’Carri Richardson (@itskerrii) December 20, 2019
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Cover Photo: IG