Allyson Felix Says Her Daughter Inspired Her to Keep Running

“There have been so many women before me who had to stay silent about their fight…For me to be able to step out…I think my daughter gave me the courage to do that.”
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Published August 9, 2021
Track star Allyson Felix wins a medal at the Tokyo 2021 Olympics.
Image: Getty Images

Allyson Felix won her 11th Olympic medal over the weekend and became the most decorated American track and field athlete in history. Felix has been outspoken about the challenges she has faced as a female athlete and a mother, but her biggest inspiration for her to keep pushing forward and racing has been setting an example for her 2-year-old daughter Camryn.

On Saturday, after winning her medal, she explained that, after becoming a mother, she was told numerous times she would never be able to perform the way she used to. "I had to go through challenges in the fight. 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,” she told reporters after her race. “There have been so many women before me who had to stay silent about their fight. 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 been a strong advocate for female and mom athletes in recent years. She welcomed her daughter in 2018 via c-section and in 2019 publicly denounced her-then sponsor Nike for expecting her to take a pay cut. She not only went on to set a record 10 months after giving birth, but she also influenced Nike to change their maternity policies for athletes. Ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, Felix also announced child care grants in partnership with the Women’s Sports Foundation and Athleta for professional mom athletes.

According to PEOPLE, Felix has said this would be her last Olympic race. “Running with these women, I think my role…has just changed so much,” she said. “And tonight…it was just about doing my job and, you know, passing that baton and getting around safely and it was just a really cool moment.”

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