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Allyson Felix is Retiring, But Her Legacy Lives On
By: Michael Day
Allyson Felix announced this year would be her last as an athlete. Many people find it hard to picture the sport without her.
Felix started her legendary career in 2003. Aged 17, she finished second in the 200m at the US trials to qualify for her first world championship. Her career just got better and better after that. Felix is the most decorated American runner of all time, scoring more medals than any other American runner in history, bringing back 7 out of 11 gold medals. She also won more championships than any other runner, 19 across five events, 13 of which were gold.
In 2019, Felix spoke at the US congress regarding hate over pregnant Black women. She addressed herself as “Camryn’s mum” at court. In November 2018, she gave birth to Camryn, weighing only three pounds and seven ounces. Camryn suffered from a disease called pre-eclampsia, which could have been life-threatening to both her and her baby. Speaking at the hearing, Felix hoped that her impression of society would give African American women a chance to speak out.
Felix also acts as a voice for women. In May 2019, Nike wanted to pay her 70% less for becoming a mother.
"I've always known that expressing myself could hurt my career… but you can't change anything with silence," she wrote.
From that point on, Felix’s words quickly shifted to activism, using her voice and status to speak and protect women’s rights.
"If we have children, we risk pay cuts from our sponsors during pregnancy and afterward. It's one example of a sports industry where the rules are still mostly made for and by men." She stated.
A couple of months later, Nike agreed to change its position on maternity pay, promising not to apply any performance-related salary reductions for 18 consecutive months. After Felix left Nike, she started her own footwear company, made just for Women.
"This season I'm running for women," she wrote. She added, "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.”