Allyson Felix, thirty-five, and mother of 1, wrapped herself in the stars and stripes as she passed Carl Lewis to become the country’s most decorated track and field athlete in U.S. Olympic history, after she won gold with her teammates in the 4x400m relay.
The mom’s medal count now tallies up to eleven after a truly phenomenal race.
It’s a long-known tradition to wrap yourself in the U.S. cloth, but some American athletes have protested due to the Black Lives Matter movement, first being made clear when Olympic hammer throw finalist Gwen Berry raised a t-shirt, covering her face, showing off the words: “Activist Athlete.”
And while more people stood in solidarity for those of color and the LGBTQ community, the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee backed their decisions, claiming that: “Peaceful expression in support of racial and social justice” didn’t violate its rules for demonstration, but did warn athletes against it in the future.
But Felix wasn’t prepared to, nor did she want to make any kind of political statement that day.
Instead, the star celebrated her historic achievement with her teammates Athing Mu, Dalilah Muhammad, and Sydney McLaughlin.
“For me, I just really came out at peace and I wanted to soak it in completely,” said Felix. “We all do different things and it was really cool to come together to close out the Olympic Games, and for me, my Olympic career.”
And while Felix has ran in the Olympics 5 times now, this is the 1st year that she’s competed as a mom.
The mom gave birth to her daughter, Camryn in 2018, after struggling with preeclampsia and undergoing an emergency C-section.
Her little daughter even cheers her mom on when she sees her competing.
“She’s really into cheering now,” Felix said. “So whenever she sees me running, she’s like, ‘run, mama, run,’ and she’s really into just being a little cheerleader. It’s really fun to just see how the process develops and how she becomes more active.”
The athlete even posted to her Instagram celebrating her success: “The most Decorated American Track & Field Athlete of All Time. Forever Grateful,” she wrote.
And she opened up about her struggles just before she won her eleventh medal.
“10 Olympic Medals!! I think this one is my favorite medal because of the journey it represents. You all have been on this journey with me and you’ve seen some of the challenges,” she wrote.
“Sitting in the NICU listening to Cammy’s monitors beeping as she stopped breathing again and I thought we might lose our daughter again. The days with no sponsor when there were so many voices of doubt telling me to just retire.
“There were days that I never thought I’d be able to get back into race shape ever again. These are some of my struggles, but I know you’ve been going through your own, but look at us still smiling!! Thank you for your support, I do this for you. Keep Going!!”
The athlete is truly inspirational!
Well done on your win Allyson.