EUGENE, Ore. – It wasn’t a golden goodbye for Allison Felix.
But it was a moment she still won’t forget — and one she’s been thinking about for nearly two decades.
Felix won her 30th international medal at the 2022 world track and field championships Friday night, finishing the second leg of the mixed-gender 4×400 as the Americans claimed bronze.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to be able to do in front of a home crowd,” says Felix, who broke into the track scene as a teenager in Los Angeles and has since become one of Los Angeles’ brightest stars. Sports “To be able to get this, not so early in my career, to finish here tonight, to have (daughter) Camille in the stands, to share that moment meant a lot.”
The 36-year-old leaves the sport with 19 world championship medals in addition to the seven gold, three silver and one bronze she won in five Olympic Games.
The U.S. team of Felix, Elijah Godwin, Vernon Norwood and Kennedy Simon led the way in Friday night’s final at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, where Simon was passed by women from the Dominican Republic and the Netherlands in the final meters. Gold and silver, respectively.
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In the weeks leading up to her competitive farewell, Felix joked that 3-year-old Cami “doesn’t get it” — a mother’s accomplishments are more than a child can understand. Maybe Cami grew up and fell in love with the track herself. Probably not. Regardless, Felix still believes there are lessons her little girl can take from all walks of life.
“I think it’s being a fighter,” Felix said. “It doesn’t matter what she does, it’s the spirit I want her to carry, the confidence I hope she has and what I want to teach her — to always stand up for what you believe in, for what’s right.” He said.
Then with a laugh: “And I’ll be very happy if she doesn’t get into track, I’ll encourage her to do a lot of other things.”
Felix She announced her retirement earlier this year. She was selected to compete in the mixed gender relay without qualifying for an individual spot on the World Championship team. Felix He helped the Americans win gold at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar.
Bronze may feel discouraged early in her career, Felix said. But this time, all she felt was gratitude.
“The last couple of years where I’ve been out of the clock and the medals, I never thought I’d be where I’d be, but I have. “I think it’s about being a representation of women, mothers — I really felt, all tonight, I felt love.
“I felt happy running tonight.”
Her legacy, her teammates say, goes far beyond the track.
“What she’s done for the sport speaks for itself,” Norwood said.
Godwin added: “There is no single story that explains her impact on the sport. “She’s an icon in the sport, we’re lucky to have the opportunity to come out and compete against her.”
And yes, she is a celebrity to them too.
“It felt like we were part of history taking pictures with her,” Godwin said with a smile on his face. “For me, this is the most important part. I just want my photo with her.