Allyson Felix has revealed that her daughter inspired her to keep racing after critics doubted her ability to compete once she had a given birth.
Felix made the revelation after she and the US women’s 4×400-meter relay team won gold, beating Poland, at the Tokyo Olympics. The gold medal is Felix’s eleventh Olympic medal, placing her as the most decorated US track and field athlete in history.
But, despite her incredible performance at the Games, Felix revealed that it was a battle to return to the olympics.
Speaking with reporters after her relay win, Felix said she had to overcome obstacles in order to return including critics who questioned her ability to perform at an elite level again after welcoming her daughter, Camryn, in 2018.
“I had to go through challenges in the fight,” she told reporters, as per People. “I’m absolutely where I’m supposed to be. You know, sometimes I think you just have to fight through and I think it’s unfortunate. It’s not just me. And I think that that’s the biggest thing.”
Felix then told reporters that her daughter gave her the “courage” to come back.
“There have been so many women before me who had to stay silent about their fight,” she continued.
“And so for me to be able to step out and I think my daughter gave me the courage to do that. But I think that was really the thing, that this has been going on for far too long. And I hope that we’re really changing things.”
Felix has previously spoke out about the difficulties athletes face as parents.
In 2018, Felix gave birth to her daughter and had to undergo an emergency cesarean section at 32 weeks because of severe preeclampsia that put her and Camryn’s life in jeopardy.
The following year, she cut ties with Nike as she claimed they had been pressuring her to return to training as quickly as possible after giving birth. They also allegedly offered her a salary that was seventy percent less than her previous compensation.
Following Felix’s public split, Nike changed their maternity policy for athletes, People reports.
As per AP, following the race, Felix also told reporters: “I feel at peace.
“I went out, had all the confidence in these amazing women. I wanted to take it all in one last time around, and it was special.”
Congratulations Team USA and Allyson Felix.