Allyson Felix said Wednesday that she will compete during the 2022 track and field season and then retire.
“I want to say goodbye and thank you to the sport and people who have helped shape me the only way I know how—with one last run,” she wrote on Instagram.
Felix, the most decorated U.S. athlete in Olympic track & field history with 11 medals, had previously said that the Tokyo Games marked her last Olympic appearance, but that she wasn’t sure if she would compete through the 2022 season.
This year will mark the first time the world track & field championships will be held in the U.S., with Eugene, Oregon, playing host from July 15 to 24.
Felix’s season is expected to begin no later than the Penn Relays, which are later this month.
In Wednesday’s announcement, Felix said this final season will be about joy — and empowering women. “This season I’m running for women. I’m running for a better future for my daughter,” she wrote.
In 2018, Felix gave birth to her daughter, Camryn. A severe case of preeclampsia resulted in an emergency cesarean section and Cammy spent her first month in the NICU. Felix went on to raise awareness about racial disparities in maternal mortality, testifying in Congress about her own experience. She also became a vocal advocate for better maternity protections in athlete contracts.
In October, Felix told On Her Turf that her long term goals include ensuring women feel empowered, supported, and able to make family planning decisions without risking their athletic careers.
“I always felt like I had to accomplish so much before I could even have the thought,” Felix said of her decision to become a mom. “I don’t want other women to have that thought. If they want to wait, I think that’s amazing. But if they choose to have a child in the prime of their career, I think they should be able to be supported through that.”
Source: NBC News