US Olympian Allyson Felix, the most decorated athlete in U.S. track and field history has announced she will retire after the 2022 season.
Taking to Instagram to make the announcement, Felix, 36, who made her debut at the Olympic Games in 2004 and has since won 11 Olympic medals over the course of her career, reminiscing back at her journey wrote in a heartfelt post:
“As a little girl they called chicken legs, never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined I’d have a career like this. I have so much gratitude for this sport that has changed my life. 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,” her post continued. “This season I’m running for women. I’m running for a better future for my daughter. I’m running for you. 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.”
“Here’s to my final season,” she wrote.
Felix asides establishing herself as a force has also cemented her legacy as an advocate for maternal health for Black women. Recall, the athlete went public with her story of delivering her daughter by an emergency C-section and has since been outspoken about issues facing the black woman such as athletes mums needing support when competing as well as openly calling Nike out over lack of compensation during her maternity leave.
“There have been so many women before me who had to stay silent about their fight, and so for me to be able to step out …” she said. “I think my daughter gave me the courage to do that.”