Allyson Felix is the most accomplished female track and field athlete in U.S. Olympic history. Fans might remember her earning three medals at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Jeneiro. She won two gold medals and one silver. This makes a grand total of nine total Olympic medals in her career. Her IAAF World Championship record is even more impressive. Felix has won a whopping 16 medals, 11 of which are gold, three are silver, and two are bronze.
Gearing Up For The Olympics
At age 33 with her eyes set on being healthy for another Olympics, it might seem reasonable for Allyson Felix to take it easy for the time being. But that just isn’t how she rolls. This season has not been unlike any other, with Felix running like she always does.
But the thing that has changed…she hasn’t been as fast. In June she posted a 51 second time during a 400-meter race in Poland. She followed that up with a 52 second 400-meter a week later in France. Her coach and agent were wondering if perhaps she had an injury. But instead of being injured, Felix had an exciting secret that she hadn’t been ready to let slip. She was pregnant.
Her coach and agent sighed in relief that she Felix wasn’t injured or merely slowing down. But being pregnant obviously comes with its difficulties, especially for a professional athlete looking to compete in the Olympics in a year and a half.
Felix had a plan to keep her pregnancy a secret (at least from everyone except her husband) and run through the summer. She was inspired when Serena Williams won the Australian Open during the early weeks of her pregnancy. Felix thought that she would be able to do something similar.
But pregnancy is different for everyone and after the race in France, Felix knew that it was time to tell her coach.
It wasn’t easy for Felix to talk about her pregnancy. She felt an obligation to her fans to put her sport first. But she was also excited to be a mother. Toward the end of her pregnancy, Felix finally shared with the public what she shared this summer with those close to her and her running career. For months, she hid from her social media followers that she was pregnant. But once she had shared the truth with the world, Felix says she felt liberated and empowered to be herself.
A Big Surprise
And then last month, Felix was having high blood pressure and could feel that something was wrong. She went into the hospital and the doctors performed an emergency C-section. The baby was born healthy and Felix couldn’t be happier.
She says the time leading up to the birth gave her some perspective on her life and career: in those moments in the hospital she only cared about her daughter. But now that her daughter has come into the world healthy, Felix can begin to shift her focus back to running. There’s no doubt that becoming a mother gives her more challenges to face but also more motivation. We certainly look forward to seeing what she can do this coming season and not too far away at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.