Allyson Felix’s Scholarship Plan Has Now Begun

Allyson Felix’s Scholarship Plan Has Now Begun

Allyson Felix is ​​not over yet.

When he left the track at the 2021 Tokyo Games, he had just won his 11th medal of his career and became the highest-ranked American athlete in Olympic history, surpassing Carl Lewis.

Felix, 36, proved everything he needed to prove. His remarks could lead to widespread protection for pregnant athletes. She can return to the Olympic podium after giving birth to her daughter Camryn with a 32-week emergency caesarean section. He could have won those medals by wearing shoes from his own brand.

After Tokyo, of course, it would make sense to hang on to its spikes and spend the next decades longing for its achievements.

But this is Allyson Felix.

One thing left to do, more to celebrate, is to run a few more 400-meter victory laps. He announced his intention on social media in April. “I want to say goodbye and thank the sport and the only people I know of – the people who helped me get in shape with one last run,” he said.

This weekend, he will start the holiday in earnest with the U.S. national outdoor championships, followed by the World Championships in Oregon in July for the first time in the United States, if all goes as planned. U.S. coach Bob Kersee said it was a fitting last season.

On Wednesday morning, Felix announced his biggest off-road commitment. She is currently the owner and board member of Voice in Sport, a advocacy and mentoring company founded by Stef Strack, which brings together young female athletes with professional sports mentors and experts in mental health, nutrition and sports.

“We’ve both tried to change existing systems, some successfully and some unsuccessfully,” said Strack, a former Nike chief executive. “And we’ve come together around the idea that it’s time to create the future we want to see for our girls.”

In an interview with The New York Times before the last national and world championships, Felix discussed how he decided to stay away from the competition, how he discovered the power of his platform and what legacy he hopes to leave.

This interview has been shortened and edited for clarity.

How did you decide to spend another season after winning two more Olympic medals at the Tokyo Games? How was the decision process?

In fact, it was harder than I thought. I knew it was my last Olympics, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to participate in another season. Many people said, “Oh, at home, it would be amazing to finish on home soil in Oregon.” And it sounded really nice, but I was exhausted from the previous year and I didn’t know if it was in me. I have never felt this way before. I wasn’t sure if there was a fight inside me.

But I was talking to my coach and he said, “I really think you should do it like the last round and just enjoy it.”

Can you have fun with that? Can you reduce your competitiveness when you look down the line?

I have never slowed down before. I have always focused on the goal, no matter what the goal for that year. I don’t think I’ve ever spent time just evaluating and enjoying – enjoying the journey and enjoying the competition and not enjoying whether I won or not. So this part is a very different experience for me. It was very difficult. I try to remind myself not to lose focus on enjoying this moment, because that’s it.

Off the track, you have been a strong advocate for women athletes and gender equality. But you said it was a journey to get there, to feel comfortable using your voice and platform. How did you start talking?

I never went to a place where I felt good. I was really scared. I had this moment while sitting in my daughter’s kindergarten, we had just returned home from NICU, and I was going back and forth about performing and op-ed.

I think I have a daughter, I have just come out of a crazy birth experience, I sit there and look at her, it was something I had to do. Whatever the outcome, I will simply move forward, because I strongly believe that this is the right thing to do.

Yours New York Times reviewClarifying in detail the lack of maternity protection for new parents in May 2019. Did you expect such a widespread change and praise from your fellow athletes?

I was doing what I had to do and what I had to do. I lived for a few minutes after the time I was in the race, and then a competitor came up to me and thanked me and detailed the story or something. And it just comes to mind, because I, alas, never thought things would change so quickly. I never imagined that I would live those moments, although I hoped that it would be for the women who came forward, but I did not think they would tell me anything about it.

Over the years, you have signed partnerships and deals with several companies and created your own company. Count. How do you decide who to work with now?

After all, with Nike, I felt I would only do things that really made sense. I really wanted to think about everything. At this point, if it doesn’t feel original, it’s simply not something I’m interested in doing. Of course, it took me a long time to get here and I learned a lot, but now I’m there.

I understand the power of my platform and the power of my voice, and I want to use it, take advantage of it, and be really responsible with what I say.

One of your biggest new partnerships and time commitments was announced this morning. Sound in sports. How did you decide to sign the organization in such a big way?

I want our young girls to be healthier and to have the resources to focus on their mental health and healthy eating. I think about growing up, I would be very excited if I had something like this. I think my mother would be very excited, because I think a lot of parents want to guide their child, and it can be really confusing and difficult. And I think that will really change things.

Now we see more than ever that young people want to make an impact and they want to use their voices and take action. Now I imagine I have more time to participate as a mentor and board member.

Talk a little about mentoring that has helped you throughout your career.

Jackie Joyner-Kersee has been my teacher for most of my career, and it has really had a significant impact on my life. She is my coach’s wife, and I think she started mentoring me when I was 19 years old. Obviously, I looked at him from an athletic point of view, but to build a relationship with him and see that he was interested in me – and not just how I behaved on the track, but as a human being – it just resonated and stayed with him. I.

He saw me grow, from a really shy girl to seeing me in front of Congress. I can count on Jackie every step of the way. I can pick up the phone and call him. I remember all my pregnancy, Nike and all that, I called her many times and just said, “I don’t know what happened,” and she was always with me.

He taught me how to do it for someone else.

The word “inheritance” sounds a lot when someone like you goes off the track. What do you want your inheritance to be?

I always thought, “Oh, these records, or these Olympics, or something like that,” and that has changed completely in the last few years. I hope this is to try to change everything, to leave things better than when I came, and to really have a heart for people.

I think this is trying to speak for those who are not so loud. This is what I am most proud of, this is the most meaningful, and this is the most important thing at the end of the day.

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