Allyson Felix’s Legacy After Retirement
By: Claire Ying
On July 15th at the Hayward field In Eugene, Oregon, 36-year-old track sensation Allyson Felix took bronze in the mixed 4x400 relay, her final race that capped off a 2-decade career. The legend 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."
Felix’s name first emerged in 2003 when she qualified for the world championships at age 17. Since then, she has become the most decorated American track and field athlete, with 11 Olympic medals from the 5 games she has participated in, as well as 19 world championship medals - more than any other athlete. Respect for Felix has grown immensely in the athletics community; many Team USA athletes claim she was their role model while growing up.
However, she doesn’t only show that she is the ‘GOAT’ out on the track.
Apart from being a world-renowned athlete, Felix is also an advocate and mother. Her daughter, Camryn, was born 8 weeks prematurely due to pre-eclampsia, which essentially indicates organ damage. Felix realized this complication was more common in African-America women in the nation. Because of this, Felix made an effort to draw attention to the subject of maternal mortality.
At the U.S congress speaking in 2019, Felix said, "we need to provide women of color with more support during their pregnancies. There's a level of racial bias within our healthcare system that is troubling and will be difficult to tackle, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't."
In response to Felix’s activism, Nike, a company that Felix partners with, decided not to lower the salary for any athlete’s performance-related discriminants, starting 18 months prior to their due date.
Throughout her career, Felix has been running while advocating for a brighter future. She stated, "I'm trying to leave the sport better than I found it, trying to support female athletes and women in general and fight for more equality." Her poise and work ethic will continue to inspire the next generations and will be shown through her voice after her retirement.