Allyson Felix is now the most decorated woman in Olympic track history!
After she took home bronze in the 400m Friday, she secured her 10th Olympic medal making her the most decorated woman in Olympic track history. Felix surpassed Jamaican sprinter Merlene Ottey who has nine medals (3 silver, 6 bronze) and now ties with American sprinter Carl Lewis (9 gold, 1 silver). Paavo Nurmi of Finland has the most Olympic medals in the sport overall, 12, per ESPN.
Lewis took to Twitter to congratulate Felix on her accomplishment, ” Congratulations @allysonfelix. 35 never looked so good. What an amazing career and inspiration. Now on to the relay.”
Congratulations @allysonfelix. 35 never looked so good. What an amazing career and inspiration. Now on to the relay.— Carl Lewis (@Carl_Lewis) August 6, 2021
The now 5-time Olympian made her debut as an 18-year-old representing the United States at the 2004 Athens Games and even after the birth of her daughter, the track star hasn’t slowed down. After severing ties with Nike, it opened up a conversation on professional women athletes and their bias in contracts.
“At 32, I was one of the most decorated athletes in history” Felix wrote in a personal essay to The New York Times. “But last year, my focus expanded: I wanted to be a professional athlete and a mother. In some ways, that dream was crazy.”
She continued: “I asked Nike to contractually guarantee that I wouldn’t be punished if I didn’t perform at my best in the months surrounding childbirth. I wanted to set a new standard. If I, one of Nike’s most widely marketed athletes, couldn’t secure these protections, who could? Nike declined.”
Since then, Nike has established a policy that protects the contracts of women athletes for 18 months surrounding their pregnancy.
Before her historical race, the six-time gold medalist wrote a heartfelt on Instagram about loss, winning, and overcoming fear.
“I’m not afraid of losing. I lose much more than I win. That’s life and I think that’s how it’s supposed to be,” the athlete wrote. “Go out there and be brave with your life because you are worthy of your dreams.”
The 5-time Olympian will be making her way to her last and final race in the Games on Saturday for the 4x400m relay.