Olympic Runner Allyson Felix Credits Strong Black Women for Getting Her Through a Tough Year

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By: Krystle Crossman

For Olympic runner Allyson Felix this is a bittersweet year. She has fought through a painful injury but came back to participate in the 2016 Olympics in Rio. She is excited to be a part of the U.S. Women’s Team for track and will be competing in the 400m race and the 4x100m relay. Unfortunately this will most likely be her last appearance at the Olympic games. She has had an amazing career so far. At the 2004 games in Athens Felix brought home a silver in the 200m women’s race. At the 2008 games in Beijing she brought home a silver medal in the 200m race and a gold in the 4x100m relay. At the 2012 games in London she brought home three gold medals. One was in the 200m race, one for the 4x400m relay, and one for the 4x100m relay.

This year has been a tough one for Felix as she was preparing for Rio. Just a few weeks before the Olympic trials she suffered an injury to her right ankle. She was devastated and was about to give up hope for the games this year but thought about the strong black female athletes who had gone to the games before her and knew that she couldn’t let them or herself down. She started rehab for her ankle and by the time trials came around, she was running again. When she had first injured herself she couldn’t even walk. Just weeks later after hard work she qualified for the women’s team in the 400m and 4x100m races. She failed to qualify for the 200m team this time around.

Felix said that she credits her strength and determination to strong black women such as Jackie Joyner-Kersee. During her career, Kersee won eight gold medals, one silver, and two bronze. She is a household name when it comes to the Olympics. Felix says that Kersee is a mentor for her and she aspires to be like her. She also credits the amazing support system that she has had all of her life, including her grandmother and mother.

It is Felix’s hope that she can help to better the conditions for black female athletes. She states that they are undervalued and are overlooked when it comes to athletics and she hopes to change that. She speaks highly of athletes such as Serena Williams who are doing great things in the athletic world to show young black women that they can achieve anything that they want to in sports.

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