Allyson Felix Biography: In Her Own Words
Allyson Felix is an American track and field sprinter. She specializes in the 200-meter and 400-meter sprint, both of which she’s won several Olympic medals in. Felix is the most decorated athlete in World Athletics Championships history, with 18 career medals. She has won 11 Olympic medals, seven of them gold, making her the most decorated female track and field Olympian and most decorated American track and field Olympian in history.
ALLYSON FELIX BIOGRAPHY: EARLY LIFE, FAMILY, EDUCATION
Allyson Felix was born on November 18, 1985 (Allyson Felix age: 35), in Los Angeles, California. Her father, Paul Felix, is an ordained minister and professor of New Testament at The Master’s Seminary in Sun Valley, California. Her mother, Marlean Felix, is an elementary school teacher at Balboa Magnet Elementary. Her older brother, Wes Felix, is a former competitive sprinter and now acts as Felix’s agent.
Felix attended Los Angeles Baptist High School in North Hills, California, where she began competing in track and field. In 2001, she achieved her first international title competing in the 100-meter at the Debrecan World Youth Championships. In 2003, she was named “High School Athlete of the Year” by Track and Field News. Her senior year, Felix finished second in the 200-meter at the US Indoor Track and Field Championships.
After high school, Felix attended the University of Southern California, where she pursued a degree in elementary education. Notably, Felix forwent her college eligibility by signing a professional contract with Adidas.
ALLYSON FELIX BIOGRAPHY: CAREER
Felix competed in her first Olympics at the age of 18, at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. She won a silver medal in the 200-meter, finishing behind Veronica Campbell of Jamaica. Her time of 22.18 set a junior world record.
In the 2005 World Championships at Helsinki, Felix became the youngest gold medallist in the 200-meter sprint. Two years later, when the competition was held in Osaka, she beat Campbell to hold on to her title.
In 2008, Felix competed in the 200-meter at the Summer Olympics in Beijing. Felix won her first gold medal during those games with her participation in the 4 x 400-meter relay. She finished in second place in the 200-meter individual race, once again behind Campbell.
In the 2009 World Championships in Athletics, 23-year-old Felix won her third gold medal in the 200-meter, beating champion Campbell. In 2010, Felix became the first person to win two IAAF Diamond League trophies in one year, winning in both the 200-meter and the 400-meter. Felix competed in four events in the 2011 World Championships in Athletics: the 200-meter, the 400-meter, the 4 x 100-meter relay and the 4 x 400-meter relay. Team USA won gold in both relays, and Felix won silver in the 400 and bronze in the 200
In 2012, Felix competed in her third Olympics. She competed in four events: the 200-meter, 100-meter, 4 x 100-meter relay and 4 x 400-meter relay. She finished fifth in the 100-meter, and first in the 200-meter, beating long-time rival Campbell.
In the 2015 World Championships in Athletics, Felix chose to compete in the 400-meter race. She finished first, winning her first gold medal in the event. Team USA won silver in both the 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 relays.
At the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, Felix came away with two more gold medals (both in the relays) and a silver (400-meter). In 2017, Felix added three more medals to her World Championship tally, bringing her up to 16. She competed in two relays, winning gold in both, and won bronze for the 400-meter.
After a dispute in 2019 with her sponsor, Nike, over her treatment post-pregnancy, Felix parted ways with the corporation and signed a multi-year apparel deal with Gap and Athleta. Later that year, Felix competed in her eighth World Championships, winning two gold medals.
Felix competed in her fifth Olympics in 2021 in Tokyo. Felix won bronze in the 400-meter and gold in the 4 x 400 final. This medal established Felix as the most decorated American track and field athlete in Olympic history. She announced that this would be her last Olympics, as she plans to retire before 2024.
ALLYSON FELIX BIOGRAPHY: INTERVIEW ON COVID-19, TOKYO 2020
In April of 2021, Felix spoke about training for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics in the midst of a pandemic, as well as her thoughts on the games.
According to Felix, learning that the games would be postponed was one of the hardest moments of the pandemic. “As an athlete, everything is timing,” she said. “And for me personally, I feel like my family had made a lot of sacrifices for me to be able to have this opportunity, and so for it not to go according to plan… was really difficult.” Luckily, Felix was able to “take that time to [her] advantage and just get stronger and better and continue to move forward.”
In terms of mental health, Felix explained that the pandemic showed her how much of a priority it should be. She described to uSports her routine for staying grounded and prioritizing her mental health.
“I try, starting each day… with my gratitude journal and just jotting down things I’m grateful for. A lot of times that’s family, health, all those things that we’re seeing a lot of people struggle with, and that really centers me,” she said.
Speaking about her training process, Felix mentioned the challenges of training in Los Angeles due to the restrictions. She described to uInterview the novel experience of training in her own neighborhood, with her neighbors coming out to watch her and her coach, Bob Kersee.
“We’ve trained on the street, we’ve trained on the beach, we’ve trained on San Vicente,” said Felix. “Thankfully, Bobby’s been really great at navigating us through this process… as long as there’s a surface to run on, we’re running.” Catch Felix’s full description of her training process at the top of the page.
Entering what would be the fifth Olympics of her career, Felix explained that “it takes a lot to kind of ruffle my feathers now, and I know what to expect… I’m able to train much smarter.”
Coming in with so much experience, both in the Olympics in particular and in her almost two-decade-long career, Felix explained that she was much more conditioned emotionally which let her focus on the technical aspect of the competition.
“It’s almost a great place to be, just having that benefit of having done this for several years now. I know when things are going well, when things aren’t, and what I need to adjust,” she said.
This would also be Felix’s first Olympics after having given birth in 2018. While it took a period of time for Felix to return to her previous standard, she explained, “This is probably the best that I’ve felt after giving birth, and so I’m really excited about that and excited just to feel like myself again.”
The athlete confirmed with uSports that she planned on this being her final Olympics.
ALLYSON FELIX BIOGRAPHY: PERSONAL LIFE
Felix is married to Kenneth Ferguson, an American sprinter and hurdler. The pair have a daughter, Camryn, who was born in 2018.
ALLYSON FELIX BIOGRAPHY: EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW ON MOTHERHOOD
Entering her first Olympics as a mother, Felix spoke with uInterview about the joys and challenges of balancing motherhood with her athletic career.
“Being Cammy’s mom is the number one job that I have,” she explained. “It’s my biggest accomplishment.” Felix also explained how motherhood came with its own set of challenges, but her daughter provided the inspiration and motivation necessary to overcome them.
“She’s really helped me find my voice and allow me to do things bigger than wanting to run fast, so I’m just so grateful for the blessing she is, and excited as we get closer for her to be able to experience all this.”
Check out the full interview below.
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