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Allyson Felix: ‘The athletes do not have a seat at the table’

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Allyson Felix is set to compete in her fifth Olympics in Tokyo this summer, where she’ll get a chance to add to her nine Olympic medals.

Felix recently sat down with David Marchese of the New York Times to discuss all things Olympics, maternal health and faith.

When asked about public health and safety concerns at the Tokyo Olympics, Felix told the Times she would trust the experts.

“We have had so much loss of life, and I don’t want to contribute to any more. So I feel as if I have to be at the mercy of the experts in charge. It’s in their hands. But I can be very honest: I would be devastated if the Olympics didn’t take place.”

Felix also touched on athletes’ role in the broader Olympic machine, and she didn’t mince words.

“The athletes do not have a seat at the table when the decisions are being made. Now I get where we fall in the grand scheme of this ginormous thing that makes a ton of money — the athletes don’t see that money. It’s a big machine.”

The 35-year-old Olympic gold medalist also gave insight into her 2019 decision to sign with Athleta upon leaving Nike. Felix previously made waves when she publicly condemned the maternity policies at Nike.

“Going to Athleta, I was at a place in my career where supporting women and girls mattered to me, and they are actually doing things that are important in that space, like not Photoshopping their images.”

Finally, Felix revealed what it took to return to the track after giving birth. The sprinter said following childbirth, she could barely finish a 30-minute walk, but she was back competing at the world championships within a year.

“In this world we’re unwilling to give someone time, and after having a child that’s what you need.”

You can read the full New York Times interview with Allyson Felix here.