17 June 2020

Olympic champion Allyson Felix says her one year-old daughter gave her the motivation to fight injustice

American athlete Allyson Felix says she is determined to fight against injustice and use the courage she gained from having her daughter as a motivation for change.

In 2019 Felix, 34, didn’t just break Usain Bolt’s record for the most World Championship medals, she also successfully campaigned against Nike’s lack of maternity support for sponsored athletes.

She is now turning her attention to overcoming adversity and hopes to use the Tokyo Olympics as a platform from which she can reach a wider audience while using her one-year-old daughter Camryn as her motivation.

Writing for Glamour, the five time Olympic gold medallist said: "Becoming a mother helped me come to a place of understanding that if I don’t speak out, nothing will change for her. 

“She helped me find the courage to fight.”

Allyson gave birth to Camryn in November 2018 (Instagram: @af85)

Felix is bidding for a spot on the US team at the postponed Tokyo Games next summer but admits her focus has altered from her previous four Olympic appearances.

"Each Olympic Games that I’ve gone to has been a little different, but it’s always been all about the competition—my winning, my goals. It really feels different this time,” she said.

"We need to use this platform to continue to do better, to speak out, to call out things that aren’t right, and to stand with each other," she added.

The record breaker said there were significant steps that still needed to be made across America in order to combat inequality, but was adamant that ‘standing for something’ and ‘leading with love’ would help bring about change.

"When it comes to race issues in this country and around the world, the solution feels so far away and so unlikely that it can feel discouraging," she said, adding: "We are strong, we are capable, and we will continue to fight for the things that we know we deserve.

"It starts with standing together."

She added that the approach to fighting for equality is similar to that of training for the Olympics.

“I’m just taking it one step at a time. That’s the same thing I try to do on the track," she said.

“Instead of looking at this giant hurdle of making my fifth Olympics, I try to just focus on what I need to do over the next month of training.”

She returned to Camryn as the catalyst for speaking out: "She has taught me that speaking out isn’t just important but necessary.

"Even though it’s scary, I’m committed to continuing to use my voice for positive change."

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox