Allyson Felix has more Olympic medals than any other female track and field athlete after winning bronze in the 400-meter dash finals in her second-fastest time, 49.46 seconds. She ran the impressive race in sneakers which she designed herself, as a part of her new sneaker line, Saych. The gold medal went to the Bahamas’ Shaunae Miller-Uibo who ran 48.36, and the silver went to Marileidy Paulino from the Dominican Republic.
Felix’s victory stood for more than her athleticism. It also represented her power as a mother, and as an activist for all mothers. Felix gave birth to her daughter in 2018 when she underwent an emergency c-section which threatened the lives of both her and her daughter.
After her pregnancy complications, she battled Nike when they decided to cut her profit by 70% because of her pregnancy and the damaging stigma surrounding athletes’ maternity. Felix terminated her deal with Nike, and took a stand for mothers everywhere, continuing to train and compete as a mother.
Last night, the 35-year old’s 10th Olympic medal win showed a side to motherhood that doesn’t get appreciated enough. She was able to display the empowerment of being a mother on a global stage as she continued to defy expectations.
She explained: “Sometimes it sounds like a cliché, but it honestly is more than just me running out there. I’m not too wrapped up in winning more medals. The biggest thing for me was coming back.” Felix later shared a playful video of her 2-year-old daughter watching her run.
She also stated: ““I am more than a sprinter. More than an Olympian. I am a mom. If I can use my voice and platform to speak on the inequalities facing Black pregnant women and the Black maternal mortality rate, I absolutely will.”