Every Olympic medal is special, but this will likely be one Allyson Felix never forgets.
The 35-year-old athlete won the bronze in the women's 400-meter dash at the Tokyo Games on Aug. 6, making her the most decorated woman in Olympic track and field history with a total of 10 medals. While Felix scored the third spot, Shaunae Miller-Uibo took home the gold medal for the event and Mariledy Paulino won the silver.
The record was previously held by Merlene Ottey, who has a total of nine medals with three silvers and six bronze. Felix is also now tied with Carl Lewis for most Olympic medals among all American track and field athletes.
In addition to her bronze, Felix has earned six golds and three silvers over the course of her career. She's competed in five Olympics, including the 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016 and now the 2020 Games.
Felix and her husband Kenneth Ferguson welcomed their first child in 2018. During her pregnancy, she was diagnosed with preeclampsia and had an emergency C-section at 32 weeks.
"I remember all day being in the NICU and watching her fight and just how heavy that time period was," she recalled to Today. "And then now, to see how she's thriving, you know, it really makes me want to do more work in that space and bring more awareness to the issue."
In a 2019 piece for The New York Times, Felix wrote her sponsor Nike wanted to pay her 70 percent less than what she made before giving birth, leading to public outcry and the brand changing its policy. According to The Washington Post, the company's new policy guarantees a pregnant athlete's pay and bonuses cannot be adversely impacted over the 18-month period covering the eight months prior to the athlete's due date and 10 months after.
"I was completely terrified to speak out. I didn't know what would come of it," she told Today. "But the one thing that really gave me the courage was being the mother of a little girl. I didn't want her to have these same battles 20 years down the line that I was facing and that so many of my colleagues have faced, so many women before me. I just felt like it was time. And no matter how scared I was, I had to step forward and to share my own story."
During the Olympics, Felix wore shoes made by her own brand Saysh. As she wrote in an Instagram post showing a close-up of the sneakers, her medals and a video for the company, "I KNOW MY PLACE (and it's in my own shoes)."
"Like so many of us, I was told to know my place. But here I am, ready to run for a brand that I founded designed for and designed by women," she said in the clip. "All of my experience of becoming a mom, of raising a daughter helped show me my true competitor: inequality. Here I am, using my voice to create change for us as women and for us as mothers and for all the women who want to be mothers. So here I am, I know my place."