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Allyson Felix. If you stay on top of sports news, have tuned in to at least one of the last four Summer Olympics, or are watching Tokyo's track and field events, you've definitely heard that name.
Not only does Felix hold the record for most gold ever won at the track and field world championships (13), but months ago at the Tokyo Olympics she continued to impress. She took home the bronze medal in the women's 400m final, with a time of 49.46. It's the fastest she's run the event in six years and since having her daughter Camryn, 2.
The third place finish gave Felix a total of 10 Olympic medals—six gold, three silver, one bronze—the most any woman has ever won in track and field. But days later, she earned a gold in the 4x400-meter relay, marking her 11 medal and becoming the most decorated US runner in history.
Now, the 35-year-old can add "fashionista" to her impressive list of accomplishments. The athlete made her Met Gala debut at the 2021 red carpet event wearing a statement pastel blue dress. The Fendi couture ballgown was outfitted with 240,000 ostrich feathers and crystal beading.
Alongside Simone Biles—who had her own impressive Met Gala moment—Felix attended the event as guests of Athleta, which both athletes share a brand partnership with. The athleisure company even donated $50,000 to The Power of She Fund in the women's honor.
"Athleta has been alongside me as I've entered the fashion space, first with my two capsule collections in partnership with them and most recently as I launched Saysh, my own shoe line," Felix said in a statement. "Tonight is such a big moment for fashion and I'm grateful and excited to be here with a partner that supports unconditionally."
Reflecting on her ongoing success, Felix recently explained what motivates her in an Instagram post. She shared an adorable video of her 2-year-old daughter, Camryn, watching clips of Felix on television. "That's Mommy! Mommy Tired!" you can hear the toddler say.
"One step at a time. One round at a time. Know your why," Felix wrote in the caption. "My why is clear and unchanging. Swipe to see her watching mommy."
Here, everything we know about the extraordinary Allyson Felix.
Felix is offering $200,000 in grants to fellow athletes for childcare.
In partnership with her sponsors Athleta and Women’s Sport Foundation, Felix is planning to give out $200,000 worth of grants to assist fellow pro athlete moms with childcare costs as they travel.
“It’s really hard to balance being a mom and a professional athlete, and the reality is that there’s a certain level of financial support and security that’s necessary to be able to do it,” she told CNBC.
So far nine athletes have received the grant, with each set to receive $10,000. They are: Gwendolyn Berry, Natasha Hastings, Kaleo Kanahele Maclay, Natalie Schneider, Elana Meyers Taylor, Aliphine Tuliamukc, Lora Webster, Jamie Whitmore, and Mariel Zagunis.
Felix launched her own shoe brand in 2021.
Just days after qualifying for her fifth Olympics in the 400 meter, Felix announced via her Instagram that she's launching her own shoe and lifestyle brand called Saysh. The company's first product is a sneaker dubbed the "Saysh One" and it retails for $150.
In a lengthy Instagram caption announcing the news, Felix wrote: "When it came to the Olympics this year - I didn't have a sponsor for my racing spikes. I was tired of asking for change. I knew I needed to create it. So, *we started our own brand. It's called Saysh. We design and develop products for and by women. We started with my racing spikes. We're bringing lifestyle sneakers next and creating all of this on the foundation of community."
She had her daughter via emergency C-section 10 months before beating Bolt's record.
On November 28, 2018, Felix welcomed her daughter Camryn with husband Kenneth Ferguson, a fellow track and field athlete. And though the baby girl is now perfectly healthy, her birth came with complications.
Due to severe preeclampsia, Felix had to deliver Camryn two months early via emergency C-section. According to CBS News, the baby weighed just three pounds at the time of her birth and had to to stay in the NICU for 29 days.
"It was a really scary situation," Felix told Gayle King on CBS This Morning. "And we really weren't sure, you know, which way things were going to go."
She had to recover from her operation, and didn't begin running again until July of 2019.
"When you are talking about life-changing situations, I think becoming a mother and having a daughter and understanding what she’ll face in the world, it’s just bigger than myself and any comforts that I’ve experienced,” Felix told The Washington Post. "I just had never expected to face challenges giving birth. That was the furthest thing from my mind. I can say that I definitely took my health for granted. Being a professional athlete, it’s what I do. That really shook my world."
She publicly denounced Nike's treatment of its pregnant athletes.
In May 2019, Felix wrote an op-ed for The New York Times, in which she revealed that her long-time sponsor, Nike, wanted to pay her 70 percent less during contract negotiations following her pregnancy. Inspired by her Olympic teammates Alysia Montaño and Kara Goucher, who shared their pregnancy stories for a Times investigation, Felix wrote:
In response, CNN reported the athletic brand amended its policy to ensure that female athletes wouldn't be "adversely impacted financially for pregnancy" for 18 months—which is six months more than their original stance.
But Felix has since left Nike and is instead now partnered with Athleta. It was the company's first sponsorship of an athlete.
"It is focused on me as a whole—as an athlete, as a mom, and as an activist, and just to be supported in that way is amazing," she told People. "Our values just really align and even other initiatives to work on that are going to support and empower women and girls, are all things that are really close to my heart."
Felix already has 9 Olympic medals.
The track and field star went to her first Olympics in Athens when she was just 18. She's been to every Games since: Beijing, London, Rio de Janeiro, and now Tokyo. As a standout in the 200 m, 400 m, 4 x 100 m relay, and 4 x 400 m relay, Felix has amassed a total of nine olympic medals and as we mentioned earlier, 13 world championship medals. This makes her the most-decorated female runner in the United States.
"Overcoming obstacles is tough," she wrote in an Instagram caption. "This year I have been learning the importance of just doing the work. It’s not glamorous, it’s tedious and sometimes frustrating. Slowly but surely, even when it’s hard to see the goal is getting closer. If you are in a similar space right now, keep pushing."
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