Allyson Felix, the most decorated woman in Olympic track and field history and the American record-holder for most Olympic track medals, has announced 2022 will be her final season of competition.
In an Instagram post Wednesday, the 36-year-old Felix wrote, “I have given everything I have to running and for the first time I’m not sure if I have anything left to give. I want to say goodbye and thank you to the sport and people who have helped shape me the only way I know how — with one last run.
“This season isn’t about the time on the clock, it’s simply about joy. If you see me on the track this year I hope to share a moment, a memory and my appreciation with you,” Felix continued.
“This season I’m running for women. I’m running for a better future for my daughter. I’m running for you,” Felix wrote. “More to come on that, so stay tuned, but I’ll be sharing a series of announcements that I’m hoping will make the world better for women.”
At the 2020 Summer Olympics, Felix was among six mothers on the U.S. track and field team. In November 2018, she had to undergo an emergency C-section while giving birth to her daughter, Camryn.
Felix has used her platform to advocate for pregnancy and maternity rights in sports. A little more than two years after the life-threatening procedure for both mother and child, Felix was motivated by her young daughter to qualify for her fifth Olympics.
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In 2021, Felix competed in her fifth Olympic Games. Her 11 medals won are more than any other women’s track and field athlete, and more than any American has won in the sport. Felix earned bronze in the 400-meter dash and gold in the 4×400-meter relay at the Tokyo Games to surpass Carl Lewis’ American record of 10 Olympic medals.
The 4×400-meter relay was Felix’s final Olympic event. A star-studded foursome of Sydney McLaughlin, Dalilah Muhammad, Athing Mu and Felix cruised to victory with the fifth-fastest time in the history of the event.
“I think this is a really special team, because we’re not 400-meter runners,” Felix said after that gold-medal performance. “I don’t consider myself a 400-meter specialist. We all do different things. And it was really cool to come together, to get to close out the Olympic Games – and, for me, my Olympic career – in this way.”
The U.S. women have won gold in the 4×400 relay in seven consecutive Summer Games, and Felix has been a part of four of those Olympic victories.
A Los Angeles native, Felix graduated high school in 2003 and attended USC but gave up her college eligibility to run professionally. At the age of 18, Felix won her first Olympic medal, taking silver in the 200 meters at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.
Contributing: Nancy Armour, Emily Adams