Most women in athletics encounter challenges in their careers due to motherhood-related challenges or responsibilities. However, it’s not the case for a renowned worldwide champion, Allyson Felix, who has gained the courage to return to the Olympics despite her recent childbirth complications. Camryn, Allyson’s daughter, was born prematurely. Allyson couldn’t bear with her child’s condition while at the neonatal ICU in Detroit. Her worst scenario at the hospital was when the doctors tried to revive the baby’s breathing system. Felix recalls her thoughts of never getting back to the Olympics. At the age of 2, her daughter is healthy and starting her childhood education.
Felix acquired preeclampsia, a condition prevalent during the pregnancy, especially in American-African women. Usually, a patient manifests high blood pressure and other birth-related complications. According to CDC’s 2019 publications, American-African women are 5 times likely to die during childbirth or pregnancy. In her remarks with House Ways and Means Committee, Allyson said that American-African women need more help during pregnancy and childbirth. She said there is a need for racial bias eradication in maternal hospitals to cater to Black women’s health issues.
Together with other pregnant athletes, Felix received a contract negotiation penalty from Nike, her longtime career sponsor. The decision almost destabilized her source of income and career. Later, Felix signed with Athleta after leaving Nike, and Athleta became the first women’s athlete sponsor. She made a significant move by launching Saysh, her apparel and footwear brand, on June 23. Felix has helped other women athletes acquire better payments from Nike. For instance, Bianca Wiliams, a Nike-sponsored Britain sprinter, said that she wouldn’t be at the current status if it were not for Felix’s assistance in speaking up on the matter. In New York Times, Felix accused Nike of their despise and failure to support pregnant women athletes. After Felix’s footwear recognition, Nike began awarding pregnant women athletes better pay.
Felix has won numerous gold medals in her past championship. Earning one more gold medal in Tokyo can make her the most competitive and passionate woman athlete in history. Despite her past athletic defeats, Felix’s relentless effort has paid off.
Allyson Felix is an iconic and role model to women athletes worldwide. She manifests women’s capability despite their motherhood responsibilities and challenges in their athletic careers. She also manifests the need for flexibility for life success.