Who is Allyson Felix? Usain Bolt world record-breaker enters her 5th Olympics and her first as mom
Following a stunning second-place finish in the 400 metres at the US Track & Field Olympic trials on Sunday, June 20, Allyson Felix was named to her sixth Olympic team and is on the road to her first Olympics as a mother.
As the race neared the final homestretch to the finish line, Felix was in fourth place, but she narrowly caught two opponents ahead of her to set a season-best time of 50.02 seconds. Wadeline Jonathas and Quanera Hayes, who won the race, both qualified for the Olympic team.
With 9 Olympic medals, @allysonfelix is the most decorated American woman in Olympic track and field history.— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) June 3, 2021
Her greatest achievement? Her daughter, Camryn. ❤️@TeamUSA @usatf #TokyoOlympics @OnHerTurf pic.twitter.com/rMCazDlz02
After several rumors of the Olympics being canceled due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, it has been reported that Tokyo is gearing up for the games which is slated to start on Friday, 23 July 2021, and go on till Sunday, 8 August.
Who is Allyson Felix?
Allyson Michelle Felix is a Californian track and field sprinter. She is the daughter of an ordained minister and professor of New Testament at The Master's Seminary in Santa Clarita Valley. Her mother is an elementary school teacher at Balboa Magnet Elementary. Her older brother Wes Felix is also a sprinter and acts as Felix's agent.
She debuted in the Athens Olympics in 2004 as a silver medallist. As a part of the US women's relay teams, Felix has won five more Olympic gold medals: three in the 4 x 400 meters (2008-2016) and two in the 4 x 100 meters (2012 and 2016). The 2012 U.S. Olympic 4 x 100 meter relay team also set a 27-year-old world record in the women's 4 x 100 meter relay at the London Olympics, which they still hold.
Only female track athlete to win 6 Olympic golds
Felix is the only female track and field athlete to win six Olympic gold medals, and she shares the title of most decorated female Olympian in track and field history with Merlene Ottey, with a total of nine Olympic medals. Felix is also the most decorated athlete in World Athletics Championships history, male or female, with 18 lifetime medals and 13 gold medals.
Felix's personal best in the 200 meters is 21.69 seconds, which places her sixth all-time. In 2013, she ran 16.36 seconds to break the world record for the rarely contested 150 meters race. She ran the fastest split ever by an American woman in the 4 x 400 meters relay at the 2015 World Championships, and the third-fastest split ever after record-holders Jarmila Kratochvilova and Marita Koch, with 47.72.
Daughter is her 'driving force'
Felix has also broken one of Usain Bolt's records to reign supreme as the athlete to win the maximum number of golds in a world championship, that too after giving birth to her daughter. On September 30, she stormed to the finish line on the mixed-gender 4x400m relay team at the World Championships in Doha, winning her 12th gold medal, one more than Bolt.
After qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics this year, Felix said in an interview: "Man. It has been a fight to get here. And one thing I know how to do is fight." Of her daughter, Felix said, "Having her as motivation these past couple of years has just given me a whole new drive. Obviously she can't understand everything that has gone on for the past couple years. But I can't wait to tell her the stories, and how she's been my driving force."
Camryn, Felix's daughter, was born through emergency C-section at 32 weeks in 2018. Camryn was in a neonatal intensive care unit for a month, and Felix has spoken candidly about the challenges she had in her recuperation and return to training. "I just wanted to really show her, no matter what, that you do things with character, integrity, and you don't give up," said Felix, according to an ESPN interview. "And to me, whether that was winning, losing, no matter the outcome, I wanted to stay consistent with that. Having her as motivation through these past couple of years has just given me a whole new drive."