Like most of the people in the stands in Hayward Field on June 20, 2021, I knew that Allyson Felix was focused on making her fifth Olympic team. The issue was this, she would have to earn in it, just like everyone else.
Don’t get me wrong. Allyson Felix competes in individual events just like everyone else. But, since she gave birth to her daughter, Camryn, many have seen Allyson with a bit more humanity.
Truth is, both Quanera Hayes and Allyson Felix have returned to the 400m after giving birth. Allyson Felix, like she has been most of her career, is a focal point for the media. In her discussion with how sponsors treat pregnant women, in her case, Nike, Allyson changed the way the sports product giant deals with women now and into the future.
And now, Allyson Felix is beginning her own brand.
Allyson Felix is heading to her fifth Olympic Games
By Sam Fariss
SOJC Track Bureau for RunBlogRun
EUGENE, Ore. – Allyson Felix, at the age of 35, stormed past two of her competitors in the women’s 400 meters Sunday to finish second and earn a spot on her fifth Olympic team.
She rounded the final curve of the race in fifth place, and the Hayward Field crowd roared as Felix had a picture-perfect finish, crossing in 50.02, .01 ahead of third place.
Felix became just one of six American women to ever be a part of five different Olympic track and field teams. She will be the only U.S. 400m Olympic veteran making an appearance for the women’s team this year – she will be competing alongside teammates Quanera Hayes, who won in 49.78, and third-place finisher Wadeline Jonathas, who ran 50.03.
Apart from her nine Olympic medals, six gold, which has given her superstar status, Felix has become prominent beyond the track as an advocate for the support of female athletes throughout pregnancy and motherhood.
“I am proud of making it to this moment,” she said. “There has been so much that has gone into this, and many times I wasn’t sure it was gonna be possible.”
Felix is less than three years removed from giving birth to her daughter, Camryn, via C-section due to the potential of life-threatening complications. Since then, Felix said, she has battled mental and physical struggles.
“There were a lot of moments, especially giving birth, all the health complications we had, I really wasn’t sure,” she said. “It seemed like I was getting hit with thing after thing.”
On Sunday night, Camryn was in the Hayward grandstands, cheering her mom on. Having her family, especially her daughter, in Eugene for the trials has made this week more special for Felix.
“Obviously she can’t understand everything that’s gone on for the past couple of years, but I just can’t wait to share this story with her — about how she’s been my driving force,” Felix said.