- BBC News World
Allyson Felix is indisputably the Olympic queen of the running track.
The American runner became the woman who has won the most Olympic medals on the track this Saturday, after adding a gold in the 4×400 meter relay, along with a team also made up of Sydney McLaughlin, Dalilah Muhammad and Athing Mu.
With this new medal, Felix also go down in history as the most decorated American Olympian in athletics, surpassing the 10 medals won by Carl Lewis.
This new medal comes just a day after the 35-year-old athlete won bronze in the 400 meters.
This is the eleventh that the Californian runner achieves, as well as her fifth Games.
The athlete first competed in Athens in 2004 and has won medals at every Olympic Games since then.
“This (medal) is very different and very special. It took a lot to get here,” Felix said at a press conference after winning the bronze medal in the 400 meters on Friday.
His time this Friday was 49.46 seconds, the second fastest of his career.
Allyson Felix was born on November 18, 1985 in California.
She was nicknamed “Chicken Legs” for her lanky physique and she joined the track team as a freshman in high school.
She stood out from the start, in one year she finished seventh in the 200-meter race at the CIF California State Meet, and eventually became a five-time winner.
At the age of 18, Felix won a silver medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. He continued to compete in the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympics, winning a total of nine medals, six gold and three silver, to date.
Currently, with her 11 medals, she is the most decorated woman in the history of United States athletics.
But his arrival at the top has not been easy.
Two years ago, she survived a life-threatening pregnancy and delivery and had to undergo an emergency cesarean section at 32 weeks’ gestation.
Their daughter, Camryn, weighed 1.67 kg at birth in November 2018 and had to spend her first weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit.
“I am proud to have reached this moment,” Felix declared at the time. “There are so many things that have been invested in this. Many times, I was not sure if it was possible. I am proud to fight and break through in some way.”
Felix has also been an outspoken critic of the way women are treated in sports.
And three years ago it severed its ties with Nike when the company signed pay cuts to women’s contracts if they got pregnant.
After parting ways with Nike, Felix struck a sponsorship deal with the Athleta de Gap brand to launch his own athletic shoe business.
Her last race was won with a shoe that she designed herself.
With Friday’s medal, Felix had already surpassed the record set on the tracks by the Jamaican runner Merlene Ottey (nine medals).
But with the latter it also exceeds that established by Carl Lewis and transcends as the athlete with the highest number of Olympic medals won on the track.
Lewis warmly congratulated her on Twitter.
“35 (years old, Felix’s age) never looked so good. What an incredible career and inspiration,” he said.
“I think people thought that I had a long shot of being on the United States team. And then, that I would not win medals. But, you know, just give me a chance,” said the athlete.
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Allyson Felix, the most decorated woman in history on the Olympic track – BBC News World