Los Angeles’ own five-time Olympic champion Allyson Felix announced that the upcoming track and field season will be her last.
In an emotional Instagram post Wednesday, Felix—who’s won seven gold, three silver and one bronze medal over the course of five Olympics—shared her gratitude for the sport and her fans.
“I have given everything I have to running and for the first time I’m not sure if I have anything left to give. I want to say goodbye and thank you to the sport and people who have helped shape me the only way I know how—with one last run,” Felix, 36, said.
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Along with her 11 Olympic medals, Felix also took home 13 World Athletics gold medals—two more than Usain Bolt. And at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, she overtook Carl Lewis to become the most decorated U.S. track and field athlete.
Felix graduated from Los Angeles Baptist High School, where she earned the nickname “chicken legs” due to her long legs and speed. Later, she chose to attend the University of Southern California and earn a degree in Education while pursuing her athletic career. While a sophomore, she won her first medal at the Athens 2004 Summer Olympics.
In recent years, Felix has advocated for equal pay and Black women’s maternity health. She gave birth to her daughter Camryn in 2018 after undergoing an emergency C-section and being diagnosed with severe preeclampsia. The following year, she wrote an opinion piece in the New York Times sharing that Nike offered to pay her 70 percent less money after giving birth.
“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 wrote.
Felix is also teaming up with Pampers and Rock the Bells to shed light on the disparities Black women face in maternity care.
In her Instagram post, Felix also shared a message of hope, writing, “This season I’m running for women. I’m running for a better future for my daughter. I’m running for you.”
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