U.S. sprinter Allyson Felix will forever be an Olympic legend after becoming the most decorated track and field athlete in American history.
Felix, 34, received her eleventh medal on Aug. 7 in Tokyo when the women’s U.S. 4×400 team — Sydney McLaughlin, Felix, Delilah Muhammad and Athing Mu — won gold with a time of 3:16:85. Their time is the fifth-fastest in the event’s history.
“For me, I just came out really at peace and wanting to soak it all in,” said Felix after completing the race. “I think this is a really special team because we’re not 400-meter runners — 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.”
Her record is surpassed only by Finnish long-distance runner Paavo Nurmi, who has a total of twelve Olympic medals.
The Tokyo Games marked Felix’s fifth and final Olympics. Her career medals tally consists of seven gold, three silver, one bronze. Praise of her undeniable GOAT (greatest of all time) status reverberated across social media.
The previous day Felix won her tenth medal, bronze, in her solo 400-meter race. It was her first Olympic medal as a mother and tied her with Carl Lewis as the most decorated U.S. track Olympian in U.S. history. Lewis, who set the record in 1996 when the Games were held in Atlanta, congratulated Felix for reaching the milestone.
Felix noted that her medal-worthy performance at the games was that much more special because she competed in Saysh spikes, a footwear and apparel brand she developed. When the Games conclude the shoes will be auctioned on the Saysh website with all proceeds being donated to the Power of She Fund — a fund that helped Olympic mothers with grants to ease child care costs.
The cause is personal to Felix, who parted ways with her longtime sponsor Nike in 2019 when negotiations regarding maternity pay protections fell through.