Allyson Felix, 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials, photo by Kevin Morris / @kevmofoto
Run by Women, 12: Allyson Felix off the track
By Sam Fariss
Not only is Allyson Felix the most decorated American track and field Olympian of all time; she also holds the record for the most career Olympic gold medals – edging out the record of seven golds that she co-held with Usain Bolt before the 2021 Tokyo Games.
Despite these incredible accomplishments, Felix is much more than what appears on her unending track resume. She is also the president and founder of Saysh, a running shoe company inspired by and for women; a mother of her young daughter, Camryn; as well as a constant advocate for women’s physical and mental healthcare.
Family is at the center of Felix’s life. Since parting with Nike, her brother Wes, who was her manager, then helped her start Saysh. Camryn is everywhere: at track meets, across Felix’s social media and on her mind.
Allyson Felix, 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials, photo by Kevin Morris/ @kevmofoto
“I shared a moment with my own daughter and 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.
Always alongside Camryn is her father, Kenneth Ferguson, who has been married to Felix since 2018, according to USA Track and Field. Felix keeps her family close as she goes about her day-to-day life, often hosting visits from parents or parents-in-law, and sharing those heartwarming stays on her Instagram.
In an interview Felix did with Forbes, she spoke on the attention that healthcare needs in the United States, something she believes is currently lacking.
“Being an athlete, health has been at the forefront for me for a long time… When I did have some difficulties having my daughter and (had some) maternal health issues, it really opened my eyes,” Felix said.
Headlines were filled with Felix’s name when she stepped away from her partnership with Nike after nearly 10 years of the company sponsoring her. The track star immediately began speaking out about the fact that the company was not supporting her throughout the difficult pregnancy she went through with Camryn.
While in the spotlight and under the microscope of the track and field world, Felix became a leader and a role model for young girls and women around the world. More people started sharing about Nike’s shortcomings when handling maternity cases amongst their female athletes.
Following the sports version of a messy breakup, she signed with Athleta, which continues to sponsor her and has helped to promote Saysh.
“I felt like going to Tokyo this time as a mom and all that adversity I had been through, I felt like a representation and I heard from so many women their own stories and what they had been through. And I thought that was the coolest part,” Felix said at a women’s leadership summit.
Allyson Felix and her daughter, Camryn, 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials, photo by Kevin Morris / @kevmofoto
Felix’s historic, awe-inspiring and graceful track career might be nearing its end but that only means she will be able to hug her loved ones a little longer.