The world’s most decorated track and field athlete, Allyson Felix, announced her retirement from the sport. On Wednesday, via her Instagram, Felix let the world know that the upcoming season will be her last.
“As a little girl they called chicken legs, never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined I’d have a career like this. I have so much gratitude for this sport that has changed my life.
“I have given everything I have to running and for the first time I’m not sure if I have anything left to give. I want to say goodbye and thank you to the sport and people who have helped shape me the only way I know how — with one last run.”
Allyson Felix announced that she'll be retiring from track following the 2022 season.
Legendary career 👏
— ESPN (@espn) April 13, 2022
The Felix Factor
“This season isn’t about the time on the clock, it’s simply about joy. If you see me on the track this year I hope to share a moment, a memory and my appreciation with you.
“This season I’m running for women. I’m running for a better future for my daughter. I’m running for you. More to come on that, so stay tuned, but I’ll be sharing a series of announcements that I’m hoping will make the world better for women.
“Here’s to my final season.”
The Track & Field GOAT
Felix pushed the imagination of what a track and field could accomplish to the limit, and she has a trophy case full of accomplishments that cement that fact.
The 36-year-old Los Angeles native has 11 Olympic medals and seven gold over five Olympic Games. Felix also is a 10-time national champion and holds 13 world championship titles.
In addition, Felix has dedicated her life to being a champion of the voiceless Black mothers who have experienced complications in childbirth. When she was 32-weeks pregnant, Felix was diagnosed with severe preeclampsia.
The Plight Of Preeclampsia
Preeclampsia is a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure and signs of damage to another organ system, most often the liver and kidneys, according to the Mayo Clinic. It is a potentially life-threatening, pregnancy-related complication.
According to the Centers For Disease Control, during a prenatal visit, Felix was surprised to learn that she had elevated protein levels in her urine and had developed high blood pressure. As a high-level athlete, Felix’s peak fitness level and extensive training, she didn’t believe she was susceptible.
Felix’s doctor admitted her into the hospital, and she received an emergency C-section. Her doctor’s fast actions may have saved her life.
A Worthwhile Fight
According to the CDC, up to 50,000 women experience severe, unexpected health problems related to pregnancy each year. Some may have long-term health consequences, and others may not survive.
In addition, the CDC reports that over 700 women die each year in the U.S. from problems related to pregnancy or delivery complications. According to the CDC, two-thirds of pregnancy-related deaths could be prevented.
Felix also has been on a crusade to eliminate the pay equality gap for women. Earlier this year, Felix launched the “No” Grants program, which supports women with short-term financial assistance for those experiencing consequences for saying no at work.
Felix’s legendary athletic accomplishments are only second to her humanitarian efforts in a journey that has played out in front of the world.