Allyson Felix says her daughter inspired her to keep racing as critics doubted her ability to compete after giving birth
Allyson Felixbecame the most decorated US track athlete after winning gold in the women's 4x400.
- Felix addressed critics who said her career would suffer after giving birth to her daughter in 2018.
- She said her daughter, Camryn, gave her "courage" to keep racing after becoming a mother.
Allyson Felix said her daughter gave her "courage" to keep racing despite critics who suggested
Felix and the US women's 4x400-meter relay team won gold over Poland by more than three and a half seconds on Saturday at the
The AP reported that Felix surpassed legendary American track star Carl Lewis, who gained 10 Olympic medals, and sits only behind Finland's Paavo Nurmi with 12 medals.
While speaking to reporters after her relay win, Felix said she overcame obstacles to return to the Olympic stage, including critics who suggested motherhood would dampen her elite-level performance.
"I had to go through challenges in the fight," Felix said, as People reported. "I'm absolutely where I'm supposed to be. You know, sometimes I think you just have to fight through and I think it's unfortunate. It's not just me. And I think that that's the biggest thing."
Felix told reporters that her daughter was one of the reasons she pushed herself.
"There have been so many women before me who had to stay silent about their fight," Felix continued. "And so for me to be able to step out and I think my daughter gave me the courage to do that. But I think that was really the thing, that this has been going on for far too long. And I hope that we're really changing things."
Felix is a vocal advocate of maternity protection for
Felix split ties with her longtime sponsor Nike in 2019, claiming the company offered her a salary that was 70 percent lower than her previous paycheck and did not explicitly support the maternity protections she requested in her contract.
In March 2020, Felix said she was afraid she wouldn't be at her "top level" after pregnancy - but she broke Olympic medalist Usain Bolt's gold medal record just 10 months after giving birth.
"I feel at peace," Felix told reporters after her 4x400 relay race in Tokyo, the AP reported. "I went out, had all the confidence in these amazing women. I wanted to take it all in one last time around, and it was special."
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