Sam Fariss did this piece on Quanara Hayes and Allyson Felix, their Tokyo competitions, and their positions as role models for a new generation of women athletes. Sam Fariss wrote for @RunBlogRun at the 2021 US Olympic Trials and the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. We have appreciated her contributions.
Two mothers win gold
By Sam Fariss for RunBlogRun
TOKYO – Allyson Felix and Quanera Hayes helped Team USA earn yet another gold medal through their legs of the women’s 4×400 meter relay. Felix, now with 11 career Olympic medals, and Hayes with her first Olympic medal, both gave birth to their children in 2018.
Felix has been a strong advocate for the treatment of mothers within the sports world over the past few years; continually expressing the struggles she had related to her pregnancy and the fight it took to come back from postpartum.
“She kind of gets it now when I’m running, she’s always like, ‘Mama’s at work, Mama’s running, and she’s kind of into it. She likes to cheer,” Felix shared about her young daughter, Cammy.
At the Olympic Trials in June, Felix and Hayes both qualified for the women’s 400-meter race and took their historic victory laps with their children. At the Olympics, they were able to video chat with their families after their victorious races.
Felix, who also won bronze in the women’s open 400-meter race, was able to walk up to the track’s video screen to be able to talk to her husband, mother, and daughter.
“I was surprised she was awake,” Felix said afterward. “She should have been asleep. We’ll deal with that later,” Felix said after her bronze medal race (which ended around 5:30 am PST).
Both Hayes and Felix have shared how difficult it is to be away from their children throughout the duration of the games, each spending more than a week away from their families.
“I loved the fact we could show other moms that it’s still possible to go after your dreams and it’s still possible to be successful. The reward is so much greater in the end,” Hayes said.
This is reportedly Felix’s last Olympic Games – she has competed in them since the 2004 games in Athens, Greece – and it pushed her beyond Carl Lewis’ Olympic medal record. She raised $200,000 alongside her sponsor, Athleta, to go toward maternal support for mothers who were Olympians at the Tokyo Games.