Ten months ago, Allyson Felix gave birth to her first child.
Sunday, she broke the record for most career gold medals at the track and field World Championships.
Felix, 33, won gold in the mixed-gender 4×400 meter relay as a member of the USA quartet. She ran a 50.4 second leg to propel the team to a world record time of 3:09.34.
It was Felix’s 12th career gold medal at the World Championships. She was previously tied with Usain Bolt, who captured 11 career gold medals at the biennial event, for the record. Now, it’s hers alone.
This is made all the more remarkable when you consider Felix gave birth to a daughter, Camryn, via emergency C-section less than a year ago. Born 3 pounds, 7 ounces, Camryn spent 29 days in the NICU.
“So special, to have my daughter here watching means the world to me,” Felix told NBCSN after the victory. “It’s been a crazy year for me.”
In an Instagram post from July, Felix said she worked “harder than (she) even knew (she) could” to get back into form post-child birth so quickly.
In May, Felix wrote an op-ed for the New York Times detailing how her pregnancy impacted contract negotiations with Nike. According to Felix, Nike wanted her to take a 30% pay cut despite her continued tremendous success. And when she asked for a contractual guarantee that she wouldn’t be punished if she didn’t perform her best “in the months surrounding childbirth,” the company declined.
In July, Felix signed a major sponsorship deal with Athleta.
Elsewhere at this year’s World Championships, Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce won gold in the 100-Meter Dash 13 months after giving birth to a son.
Props to these amazing women for proving motherhood and athletic excellence doesn’t have to be a one-or-the-other proposition.
Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images