Allyson Felix is probably the greatest female athlete of all time so far. She is a seven-time Olympic champion and a thirteen-time world champion in athletics. She now announces her retirement, leaving behind a powerful message and legacy
Allyson, a 35-year-old American athlete, chosen for 2021 Athlete of the Year by the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations), announced her retirement at the end of the sports season in 2022.
But beyond being the most successful athlete of all time for her career and awards in athletics, Allyson Felix is a leading voice and defender of women’s rights. Particularly mothers, for her own story that made a difference forever in the management that the big brands provide to the athletes they hire and sponsor.
The story goes back to 2018 when Allyson decides to be a mother and asks her sponsoring brand, Nike, not to penalize her or interrupt her contract due to her motherhood. But the answer was that they would do it as an exception, but not as a policy for the team or other athletes, to which Allyson and other colleagues decided to start a movement for equal conditions. This way, they claim to eliminate discrimination in contracts because the financial support for female athletes differs by 70% from that assigned to men, making this inadequate handling that commercial brands provide to their female athletes reconsidered.
Months later, the Nike brand announced the decision not to apply economic or other sanctions during its athletes’ 18 months of pregnancy and maternity.
Then the Athleta brand was linked, clearly focused on gender equality and support for women’s sports, where she found not only benefits for her, but they supported her to propose to the Olympic Committee to open a care center for the children of athletes in sporting events.
In 2021, Allyson Felix decided to launch her own clothing and footwear brand called Saysh, with which she added a facet of businesswoman to her voice of protest and claim for women’s rights. Here is her presentation at the April 2022 TED talk:
Also read: 7 WOMEN ATHLETES WHO HAVE MADE HISTORY
The athlete shares her fears about her pregnant state and the possible rejection of her fans and her professional career, and contract termination. Then she was faced with the dilemma of choosing between her motherhood and her professional career as an athlete.
Although it is true that, as part of the advertising campaigns, brands proclaim their support for girls and women, promulgating messages such as “you can do it,” “you can achieve your dreams,” “women are powerful,” and others, they act differently. In reality, marks blur their messages, as happened to Allyson.
Two years after giving birth to her daughter Camryn, she saw her mother win medals again in Tokyo and accompanied her to take a few steps on the track that she had given so much joy to her mother. Allyson’s message reaches all women who have found themselves in a dilemma when they should choose between pursuing their dreams and contractual or corporate conditions replacing their happiness and fulfillment as women.