Allyson Felix Clinches Fifth Olympic Ticket
Allyson Felix made her fifth Olympic team, and first as a mother, on Sunday following a dramatic second-place finish in the 400-meter race at the United States Olympic track and field trials in Eugene, Oregon.
Felix, who is a 13-time World Champion is back after her first pregnancy. Felix gave birth to her daughter, Camryn, via emergency C-section at 32 weeks in 2018. Camryn spent a month in a neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Felix has spoken openly about the difficulties in her recovery and return to training. It was a difficult journey to come back, something that she had doubts about.
“Man. It has been a fight to get here,” Felix said in an interview on NBC. “And one thing I know how to do is fight.”
— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) June 21, 2021
On Sunday, she performed well enough to secure herself second place and clinch her fifth trip to the Summer Olympics, and her first as a mother. Quanera Hayes, who is also a mom, won the women’s 400 with a time of 49.78. Felix finished second with a time of 50.02 seconds and Wadeline Jonathas came in third, one-hundredth of a second behind Felix.
The 35-year-old mother will compete individually in Tokyo in the 400-meter race, and she will likely also be part of at least one relay team, either the women’s 4×400 or the mixed-gender 4×400, which is a new event in 2021. The Olympian is also scheduled to run the 200-meter dash at trials next week.
The 35-year-old made her debut in 2004 and has since become one of the most decorated athletes in the history of the sport. She has won nine Olympic medals, including six golds throughout her career. Felix has spoken about her plans to retire before the next Summer Games, which take place in Paris in 2024. The Tokyo Games will be all that much more meaningful since it will be her final Olympic Games. She hopes that her performances will be an inspiration not just to moms, who are athletes, but to all moms who are returning to their jobs after giving birth.
“I think society tells us a lot of times you have a child, and your best moments are behind you. But that’s absolutely not the case,” Felix said. “I’m a representation of that. Quanera is. There’s so many women across industries who are out there, who are doing it and getting it done. And I hope that when they watch and they see me, that they see that it’s possible. And without a doubt, we’re going to keep fighting.”