USA Olympic sprinter Allyson Felix broke Usain Bolt's record on September 29 after winning her 12th gold medal at the World Championships on the mixed-gender 4x400m relay team. With this, she now holds the record for the most gold medals at the track and field World Championships. She broke the record on day three of the 17th IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 at Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar. The sprinter was already one of the most decorated track and field athletes, winning a combined nine medals between each of her four Olympic games, six of which are gold.
Responding to the victory, Felix wrote: "Humbled" on her Twitter handle.
What doubles her victory is the fact that this is her first season as a mother. She had to undergo a lot of troubles to become one. Felix battled preeclampsia and underwent an emergency C-section at 32 weeks to deliver her daughter in November 2018. She shared her story with a US sports channel talking about her issues to keep up her image of an athlete while being pregnant. She further explained the emotional toll NICU takes on families who have to stay in it.
Allyson was part of the high profile movement that pressured Nike to change long-standing maternity policies for its sponsored athletes. The movement led to the extension of financial support for athletes for up to 18 months which is six months more than the earlier policy. Along with decorated women runners including Alysia Montaño, Kara Goucher and Phoebe Wright, Felix successfully got the brand to adapt its policy. According to parent company Gap, Inc., Felix put Nike behind her and is now the first athlete to be sponsored by Athleta. She will next be seen in the 2020 Olympics.
Speaking about the upcoming Olympics to the media which will be her fifth, Allyson explained the fear and faith of having to let go of her plans. She said that if she comes back, she may not be in the same form and might not make it to the fifth Olympics. She will just know that she fought and that she was determined, she said. If it doesn't end the way she imagined then it will all be okay, she just has to go for it, she added.