One of track and field’s most accomplished runners is looking to call it quits after 20+ years.
Allyson Felix announced that she is retiring the sport after the 2022 track and field season. The seven time Olympic gold medalist made the announcement via her Instagram.
In the post she expressed wise words towards her gratitude for the sport.
This season isn’t about the time on the clock, it’s simply about joy. If you see me on the track this year I hope to share a moment, a memory and my appreciation with you.
Allyson Felix was nicknamed “chicken legs” because of her infinitely skinny legs back in the ninth grade.
At 15 years of age she had won her first international gold medal at the 2001 Debrecan World Youth Championships. Despite her slender frame, by her senior year she had so much strength she could deadlift 270 lbs. The 200 meters star formerly known as “chicken legs” shined in high school as she was named Track and Field News’ Woman’s National High School Athlete of Year in 2003. The glow up continued as she entered her professional career at 17-years-old.
She earned her first Olympic gold in 2008 after clinching the win in the 4 × 400 meters relay. Even though she didn’t win the 200 meters in 2004 and 2008’s Olympics, she became a part of a group of extremely strong runners after joining USA’s 4 x 400 and 4 x 100 squads. Allyson Felix’s 4 x 100 and 200 teams are considered one of the greatest running groups assembled as they acquired 17 gold medals across several world championships. Her constant appearance on these teams tend to end up in a gold medal.
Throughout her Olympic career she earned 11 medals, with 7 of them being golds. She even earned the elusive gold medal in the 200 meters in the 2012 London Olympic Games. At 35, ran one leg for Team USA in a gold medal-winning effort in the 4×400 relay. That feat put her in the conversation joining Gail Devers as the only U.S. sprinter to compete at 5 Olympic Games. That feat also granted her the honor of passing Carl Lewis for the most Olympic medals for an American track athlete ever.
Even off the track, Allyson was creating history.
She along with Alysia Montaño and Kara Goucher, broke barriers within Nike’s maternal policy. After writing a piece in the piece for the New York Times, Allyson “felt pressure to return to form as soon as possible” after giving birth to her daughter. Felix underwent an emergency C-section at 32 weeks because pre-eclampsia that could’ve killed her and her child. At the time, Nike was looking to give her a contract that was 70 percent lower than her last deal, and she contended the company didn’t provide any firm guarantees that she wouldn’t be punished if she didn’t perform at her best in the months after her childbirth. This shifted Nike’s entire policy, and Allyson went on to win 2 more golds at the 2019 Doha World Championships.
Allyson Felix has had quite the astounding career that this article could not fit in a day.