Allyson Felix Announces Intention To Retire At End Of 2022 Season

11-time Olympic medal winner, seven of those being gold, Allyson Felix has announced that she is planning to retire after the conclusion of the 2022 Athletics season.

Felix is the most decorated US Track and Field Olympian with her 11-medal haul outstripping the likes of other legends such as Ed Moses, Carl Lewis, Florence Griffiths-Joyner and Jesse Owens.

Her seven gold medals have come in the 4×400 meters relay (where she has won four gold medals), 4×100 meters relay (where she has won two) and an individual 200m gold medal in London in 2012.

In addition, she has won more World Championship titles (13) than any other track and field athlete, including Jamaican sprinting legend Usain Bolt.

Her last Olympic Medals, plus her two World Championship gold medals also came a year after she gave birth to her daughter Camryn, making her one of very few athletes to have achieved success after giving birth.

“Chicken Legs”

In an Instagram post on Wednesday in which she announced her decision to retire,

PARIS, FRANCE – AUGUST 28: Alysson Felix of the United States looks before her 400m women during the Meeting de Paris Diamond League on August 28, 2021 in Paris, France. (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)

Felix commented:

“As a little girl they called chicken legs, never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined I’d have a career like this.

“I have so much gratitude for this sport that has changed my life. 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. 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 for you. This season I’m running for women. I’m running for a better future for my daughter. I’m running for you.”

Campaigner Outside Of Athletics

While Allyson Felix’s achievements on the track are well-known, perhaps not so well established has been her campaign to improve awareness regarding the issue of excessive maternal mortality rates amongst Black women.

Felix took her battle to the House Committee on Ways and Means and testified before them on the issue just a short time after she herself was admitted to hospital in November 2018 for an emergency C-section 32 weeks into her pregnancy with daughter Camryn.

Around the same time, Felix also took issue with her long-term sponsor Nike, who she accused of punishing her and other female athletes that had become pregnant, when it came to contract negotiations.

As a result of this, Felix left Nike a short time later to join up with Athleta.

However, since this incident, Nike have since improved and and increased protection for any female athletes it sponsors who are pregnant or have since become a new mother.

At 36-years-old, Felix may well be coming to the end of her incredible athletic career, but she certainly has many other avenues to explore in the coming years and it is going to be interesting to see how she will now devote her time.

And whatever she chooses to do, she has earned that opportunity.

 

FEATURED IMAGE – PARIS, FRANCE – AUGUST 28: Alysson Felix of the United States react after her 400m women during the Meeting de Paris Diamond League on August 28, 2021 in Paris, France. (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)

Author: Paula Dunn