Allyson Felix Defies Protest, Celebrates Gold Medal By Wrapping Herself In U.S. Flag

Allyson Felix Defies Protest, Celebrates Gold Medal By Wrapping Herself In U.S. Flag

35-year-old Allyson Felix, a mom of one won gold with her teammates in the 4x400m relay and became the USA's most decorated track and field athlete in Olympics history.

Cover image source: Getty | Photo by Patrick Smith

After becoming America's most decorated track and field athlete in U.S. Olympic history, 35-year-old Allyson Felix wrapped herself in the stars and stripes. According to Daily Mail, the mom-of-one won gold with her teammates in the 4x400m relay, surpassing Carl Lewis. Following a truly phenomenal race, the athlete's medal count came up to eleven, and to celebrate this victory, Felix chose to wrap herself in the U.S. flag, something that has been a long-known tradition among athletes. However, many American athletes have protested against embracing it to show their support for the Black Lives Matter Movement.


In the due course of the latest international sporting event, women's hammer throw finalist Gwen Barry raised her fist and wore a shirt that read: "Activist Athlete." She even refused to face the country's flag as the national anthem was played. Even American fencer and bronze winner Race Imboden and Silver medalist shot putter Raven Saunders also raised their hands in an "X" to show solidarity for people of color and the LGBTQ community. While acts of defiance are generally punishable at the Olympics, this time around the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee backed the athletes saying, "Peaceful expression in support of racial and social justice" didn't violate its rules for demonstration. However, it did warn athletes against it in the future.


As for Felix, she did not make any political statement, instead celebrated her historic win along with her teammates Dalilah Muhammad, Athing Mu, and Sydney McLaughlin as all of them came together under the U.S. flag. "For me, I just really came out at peace and I wanted to soak it in completely," said Felix. "We all do different things and it was really cool to come together to close out the Olympic Games, and for me, my Olympic career." This is the fifth time Felix has consecutively appeared at the Olympics Games and the first as a mother.


The California resident became a mother in 2018 after battling preeclampsia and undergoing an emergency C-section to birth her daughter, Camryn. Speaking to E! Online, Felix opened up about the support she receives from her daughter. "She's really into cheering now. So whenever she sees me running, she's like, 'Run, mama, run,' and she's really into just being a little cheerleader. It's really fun to just see how the process develops and how she becomes more active," she shared. Now track wasn't something Felix took up when she was young. Instead, she loved playing basketball as a kid. But after attending Los Angeles Baptist High School, she began running track.


After giving birth to her child, Felix began advocating for mothers in professional sports and argued that female athletes do not receive the same opportunity for stardom as male athletes do in the same sport. The runner earned her first (silver) medal back in the women's 200 meters in the 2004 Athens Games. She was just 18 at the time. Felix then went on to win six golds and three silver medals, with bronze in the 400 meters and gold in the 4x400 relay in these latest games which bumped her to historic heights. Meanwhile, Carl Lewis, the previously most-decorated U.S. Olympic athlete in track, won 10 medals, including nine gold and one silver during his career that spanned from 1979 to 1996.


After her big win, Felix took to Instagram and wrote: I think this one is my favorite medal because of the journey it represents. You all have been on this journey with me and you’ve seen some of the challenges. Sitting in the NICU listening to Cammy’s monitors beeping as she stopped breathing again and I thought we might lose our daughter again. The days with no sponsor when there were so many voices of doubt telling me to just retire. There were days that I never thought I’d be able to get back into race shape ever again. These are some of my struggles, but I know you’ve been going through your own, but look at us still smiling!! Thank you for your support, I do this for you. Keep Going!!


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