Allyson Felix set to retire as most successful female track and field Olympian

Allyson Felix, the United States star who is the most decorated female track and field Olympian in history, has announced she will retire at the end of the season.

Felix has won 11 Olympic medals – including seven golds – as well as a remarkable 13 world titles. The 36-year-old competed at her fifth Olympic Games in Tokyo last summer and it will prove to be her final appearance at the iconic event.

She announced the news on Instagram, sharing her decision with her 1.1 million followers. Felix wrote: “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.”

Felix is a rare breed, possessing a racing repertoire which includes the 100m, 4x100m, 200m, 400m and 4x400m. Across her illustrious career, Felix won four Olympic golds in the 4x400m relay, two in the 4x100m relay, and one in the 200m.

She was also a 10-time United States national champion and the most decorated athlete – male or female – in World Athletics Championship history with 18 medals. Felix achieved seven in individual events and 11 as part of team relays.

Felix – who was included in Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2020 and 2021 – gave birth to her daughter Camryn via emergency Caesarean after just 32 weeks following the discovery of pre-eclampsia, which could have been life-threatening for both Felix and her daughter. Under a year later, Felix became the most successful athlete in World Championships history when she won two relay golds in Doha.

Do you think Allyson Felix is the greatest female athlete in Olympic history? Let us know in the comments section.

Felix, along with Alysia Montano and Kara Goucher, helped ignite the controversy over Nike’s maternity pay regulations, as the clothing giant refused to guarantee salary protections for pregnant athletes. The sportswear brand later amended its maternal policy in 2019.

Two years after Felix left Nike following the maternity saga – in which Nike wanted to pay the American 70% less after she gave birth – to launch her own footwear company, Saysh, in June 2021. Felix has remained a vocal advocate on the issue of maternal mortality among black women.

“This season I'm running for women. I'm running for a better future for my daughter. I'm running for you," Felix continued in her retirement statement on social media. “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.”

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