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Allyson Felix is an American sprinter who competes in the 1oo meters, 200 meters and 400 meters. She is the only female track and field athlete to ever win six Olympic golds, and her nine total medals ties her for the most by any all time. Allyson’s 18 World Championship medals and 13 World golds are both the most in track and field history, for men and women. In 2020, Allyson was named one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People for her work as an advocate for better maternity coverage for female athletes.
In this conversation, Allyson discusses her late introduction to the sport in high school and how she went on to win her first Olympic medal just four years later. Allyson explains her decision to forgo her college eligibility in order to turn pro, what it was like to juggle college and a professional career, and how she became a World Champion at the age of 19. Allyson also discusses her longtime rivalry with Veronica Campbell-Brown, with whom she traded Olympic and World medals for almost a decade. She reflects on what made her runner-up finish in the 200m at Beijing one of the defining moments of her career, and how she overcame her disappointment to win gold four years later. Allyson likewise shares her thoughts on the controversial dive which cost her a gold medal in Rio.
In 2018, Allyson gave birth to her daughter Camryn one month early via emergency C-section, at which time both mother and child faced life-threatening complications. Talking with Kelley, Allyson explains why that ordeal was the most difficult in her life, one which ultimately encouraged her to take her fight with Nike over maternity coverage public. Now Athleta’s first sponsored athlete, and with her sights set on Tokyo 2021, Allyson says she sees herself as both an athlete and activist, ready to continue changing her sport, on and off the track.
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