October 03, 2019
USA Olympic team sprinter Allyson Felix has broken Usain Bolt's record for the most gold medals in World Championships history.
The 33-year-old mom, on Sunday, won her 12th gold medal on the mixed-gender 4x400m relay team at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar. That broke her tie with Bolt's 11.
According to NBC Sports, Felix ran alongside Americans Wil London III, Courtney Okolo and Michael Cherry, to set a world record 3:09.34. She completed her leg of the relay in 50.4 seconds.
"There were tears, frustration, and doubt. At times it felt like everything was against me."
Speaking to the outlet following her historic win, Felix said:
"So special, to have my daughter here watching means the world to me. It’s been a crazy year for me."
She also reacted to the achievement via Twitter in one word: "Humbled."
Besides breaking the retired Jamaican sprinter’s record, Sunday’s win also marked Felix’s first gold medal as a mom. The most decorated female track and field athlete at the Olympics welcomed her daughter Camryn via emergency C-section on November 28, Blavity reported.
For Felix, it was one of the toughest periods of her life. After suffering severe preeclampsia, her daughter was reportedly born at 3 pounds, 7 ounces, and spent her first 29 days in the NICU.
About three months ago, the Los Angeles native reminisced on her time in the NICU with a throwback photo on Instagram, writing:
"There were a lot of days I wasn’t sure this was going to be possible. I worked harder than I even knew I could. There were tears, frustration, and doubt. At times it felt like everything was against me. So today I’m far from my best, but I’m grateful for this opportunity and to experience the joy of competing again."
In August, Felix also joined in the fight for more favorable maternity policies for female athletes from sponsor brands such as Nike, CNN reported. Felix herself parted ways with Nike after the company implemented a 70% pay cut in light of her pregnancy.
Felix, along with other high-profile female athletes, successfully got the athletic gear brand to adapt its policy, ensuring greater financial protection for their pregnant colleagues.
Meanwhile, Felix has since signed a contract with Athleta, becoming the first athlete to be sponsored by the brand, according to parent company Gap, Inc.
Congratulations, Allyson Felix!
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