Olympian Allyson Felix announces she will retire after ‘one last run’ this season

Allyson Felix, who became the most decorated American track and field athlete in Olympic competition when she won two medals last summer at the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Games, announced via Instagram she will retire after “one last run” this season. Her feats will be difficult to match.

Felix, 36, was born in Los Angeles and graduated from L.A. Baptist High. She turned pro before college but attended USC and earned a degree in elementary education at her mother’s insistence. She competed in five Olympics, starting in 2004, and won seven gold medals, three silvers, and one bronze. She also has won 19 medals (14-3-2) in outdoor world championship races. The world championships will be held this year in Eugene, Ore., from July 15 through July 24.

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

Felix also has made a mark as an advocate for pregnancy care for Black women since she gave birth to a premature daughter, Camryn, in November 2018. She has testified before Congress about the racial disparities in maternal health care. She was among the prominent female athletes who criticized Nike’s inadequate policies for pregnant women and she later co-founded a female-oriented footwear company, Saysh.

She said this season will be “simply about joy.” She added, “This season I’m running for women. I’m running for a better future for my daughter. I’m running for you. More to come on that, so stay tuned, but I’ll be sharing a series of announcements that I’m hoping will make the world better for women.”

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