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Allyson Felix: the seven-time Olympic champion announces her intention to retire after 2022

During her illustrious career, she won 11 Olympic medals – including seven gold – and 13 world championship titles.

“As a little girl they called chicken legs, never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined having a career like this,” Felix said in an Instagram post on Wednesday.

“I have so much gratitude for this sport which has changed my life. I gave my all to racing and for the first time I don’t know if I have anything left to give.”

The 36-year-old started her career specializing in the 200 metres, winning an Olympic silver medal in Athens in 2004 and becoming the discipline’s youngest ever world champion in 2005 aged 19.

Her first Olympic success came at the Beijing Games in 2008 when she guided the US women’s 4x400m relay team to a gold medal.

It was the first of six Olympic relay gold medals – four in the 4x400m relay and two in the 4x100m relay. Félix was also crowned individual champion in the 200m in 2012.

“I want to say goodbye and thank you to the sport and the people who have helped shape me the only way I know how – with one last race. This season is not about time, it’s just a matter of joy,” her Instagram post continued.

Outside of athletics, Felix highlighted the issue of maternal mortality among black women, testifying before the House Ways and Means Committee, after giving birth to her daughter Camryn by emergency C-section at 32 weeks in November 2018.
In a New York Times op-ed, she accused her longtime sponsor Nike of penalizing her and other pregnant athletes in contract negotiations. She soon left Nike and signed with Athleta while Nike has since expanded its protections for pregnant women and new mothers.

Felix won two world championship golds less than a year after giving birth – his 12th and 13th overall – and surpassed Usain Bolt’s record for most world championship titles won by a track and field athlete.

“If you see me on the track this year, I hope to share a moment, a memory and my appreciation with you,” Felix said. “This season, I’m running for women. I’m running for a better future for my daughter. I’m running for you.”


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