Allyson Felix has made history in Tokyo by becoming the most decorated female track star.
Felix won bronze in the women’s 400 meters on Friday, running a time of 49.46 seconds. Her tenth medal.
Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas took gold medalist with a personal best of 48.36 seconds, and Marileidy Paulino of the Dominican Republic nabbed the silver medal with a time of 49.20 — another personal best.
Felix has previously tied with Jamaica’s Merlene Ottey, who has nine medals. She is now also tied with Carl Lewis for the most medals by an American track-and-field athlete. Felix currently holds 18 world championship medals, including 13 golds.
Felix finished second in the 400-meter race at the U.S. track trials in Eugene, Oregon, in June. Her fifth Olympics since her 2004 Athens Games debut. She was just 18 at the time.
“I’m just proud of making it to this moment,” she said after qualifying. “There’s so much that’s gone into this. Many times, I wasn’t sure if it was possible. I’m just proud of fighting and making a way somehow.”
Two years ago, Felix and Nike announced they had parted ways after Nike failed to support her decision to start a family. She said she felt pressure to rush back to training to keep her gig with Nike, even after an emergency C-section in November 2018 to deliver her daughter, Camryn.
Nike did offer Felix a deal — but it was 70% less than her pay prior to her pregnancy. She felt she had been discriminated against.
“My disappointment is not just with Nike, but with how the sports apparel industry at large treats female athletes,” she wrote. “This isn’t just about pregnancy. We may stand behind the brands we endorse, but we also need to hold them accountable when they are marketing us to appeal to the next generation of athletes and consumers.”
Felix turned them down and launched her own footwear brand, Saysh, this year.
We bet Nike wishes they had just cut the check. Congratulations, Allyson.