5 Reasons Why Allyson Felix will Forever Be a Legend
By: Chenwei Ren
Back in April, Allyson Felix, a 7 time Olympic gold medal receiver for track and field, announced this year would be her last as an athlete.
In 2003, Felix hit the headlines when, at the age of 17, she placed second in the 200m at the US trials to earn a spot in her first World Championships. She made her final appearance in front of her home audience in Eugene, Oregon, two medal-filled decades later, taking home bronze for the 4x400m mixed relay.
"It was a night I will cherish. I've had such good memories," she said. "I know it is time and these guys will carry it on into the future. I am at peace stepping into this next stage and have tremendous gratitude for this sport."
There aren't many athletes who have had more successful sporting careers than Felix, and outside of the track, she's made some significant contributions, demonstrating via her advocacy how speaking out can bring about real, lasting change.
Here are five reasons that makes Allyson Felix a legendary track and field athlete:
1. Writing history- She has taken home 11 Olympic medals, seven of which are gold, more than any other American track and field athlete in history. She has also won the most medals at the World Championships (19 over five events, 13 of which were gold).
2. Fighting for black maternal rights- After going through a terrifying birth experience with pre-eclampsia, which could’ve been life threatening for mother and child, Felix decided to bring the issue to the US Congress.
3. A voice for women- As one of the most successful athletes in history, Felix is now utilizing her platform and voice to advocate for women's rights. "This season I'm running for women," she wrote. "I'm running for a better future for my daughter. I'm running for you. More to come on that, so stay tuned, but I'll be sharing a series of announcements that I'm hoping will make the world better for women."
4. Defying the odds- Less than a year after giving birth, she became the most successful athlete in World Championship history when she won two relay golds in Doha. She disproved everybody who had any doubts about her and her abilities after struggling with the coronavirus pandemic, because of not being able to use the field to practice..
5. Admirable- At the age of 18, Felix took home a silver medal and setting a new junior world record of 22.18 seconds, won the 200m in Helsinki the following year to become the youngest world champion in history, and competed against Merlene Ottey, Sanya Richards-Ross, Christine Arron, Carmelita Jeter, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, and Elaine Thompson-Herah.
It is safe to conclude that her retirement leaves a significant hole in the athletics community given everything this champion, mother, and activist has accomplished both inside and outside of the sport.