US track-and-field superstar Allyson Felix competed in five Olympic Games. In 2021, Felix won her 11th Olympic track-and-field medal, more than any other athlete in US history. Explore her life on and off the track.
Allyson Michelle Felix a retired American track and field athlete who competed in the 100 meters, 200 meters and 400 meters. She specialized in the 200 meters from 2003 to 2013, then gradually shifted to the 400 meters later in her career. At 200 meters, Felix is the 2012 Olympic champion, a three-time world champion (2005–2009), a two-time Olympic silver medalist (2004 and 2008), and the 2011 world bronze medalist. At 400 meters, she is the 2015 world champion, 2011 world silver medalist, 2016 Olympic silver medalist, 2017 world bronze medalist, and 2020 Olympic bronze medalist. Across the short distances, Felix is a ten-time U.S. national champion (2004, 2005, 2007–2012, 2015 and 2016).
Felix played a key role on the United States women’s relay teams, winning six additional Olympic gold medals: four consecutive medals at 4 × 400 meters (2008, 2012, 2016, and 2020) and two at 4 × 100 meters (2012 and 2016). The 2012 and 2016 U.S. Olympic 4 × 100 m teams set a world record of 40.82 s and the second fastest time of 41.01 s, respectively. With these six golds from relays and one from an individual event, Felix became the first female track and field athlete to ever win seven Olympic gold medals. She is also the most decorated woman in Olympic track and field history and the most decorated American track and field athlete in Olympic history, having earned 11 total medals from five consecutive Olympic Games. Felix is the most decorated athlete, male or female, in World Athletics Championships history with 20 career medals, 7 from individual events and 13 from team relays. With a combined Olympic and World Championship total of 31 medals, she is also the overall most decorated athlete in track and field history, with 12 medals from individual events and 19 from relays. Felix was the first athlete in track and field history to medal in 3 different relays, 4 × 100 m, 4 × 400 m and mixed 4 × 400 m.
Among Felix’s notable performances, her 200 meters personal best of 21.69 seconds, which was set at the 2012 U.S. Olympic trials, ranked at the time as the third-fastest time ever run by an American woman and sixth-fastest time by a female athlete in history. She also ran a 47.72-second leg on the U.S. women’s 4 × 400 m relay team at the 2015 Beijing World Championships, recording the fastest split ever by an American woman, and third-fastest split ever by a female athlete.
Felix, along with Alysia Montaño and Kara Goucher, is credited with stirring public outcry over Nike’s refusal to guarantee salary protections for its pregnant athletes, prompting the sportswear brand to expand its maternity policy in 2019. Two years after her departure from Nike, the athlete turned entrepreneur launched her own footwear company, Saysh, in June 2021.
She was included in Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2020 and 2021. In 2022, Felix received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from her alma mater USC and also served as the commencement speaker for that year’s graduation ceremony.