Allyson Felix, the most decorated American and women’s Olympic track and field athlete, will retire following the 2022 season. The six-time Olympian and nine-time gold medalist made the announcement Thursday on social media.
“It has been an absolute honor and privilege to compete for my country and to be a part of Team USA,” Felix wrote. “I’m so grateful for everything that the sport has given me, and I look forward to what the future holds.”
“This season I’m running for women. I’m running for a better future for my daughter. I’m running for you,” Felix wrote. “More to come on that, so stay tuned, but I’ll be sharing a series of announcements that I’m hoping will make the world better for women.”
In her post, Felix thanked her family, friends, coaches and fans for their support throughout her career. “I’m looking forward to continuing to inspire the next generation of athletes,” she said. “And I’ll be cheering on Team USA all the way to the 2024 Olympics in Paris!”
At the 2020 Summer Olympics, Felix was among six mothers on the U.S. track and field team. In November 2018, she had to undergo an emergency C-section while giving birth to her daughter, Camryn. Felix has used her platform to advocate for pregnancy and maternity rights in sports. A little more than two years after the life-threatening procedure for both mother and child, Felix was motivated by her young daughter to qualify for her fifth Olympics.
Felix made the announcement in an interview with The Associated Press, saying that she wants to spend more time with her family and pursue other interests outside of athletics. “It’s been an incredible journey, but I’m looking forward to what’s ahead,” Felix said. “I’m so grateful to everyone who has supported me throughout my career.”
Felix made her debut at the Sydney Games in 2000, where she won a silver medal in the 200 meters. She went on to win gold in the same event at the 2004 Athens Olympics before adding another gold in the 400 meters at Beijing in 2008.
In 2012, she became the first woman to win gold medals in both the 200 and 400 meters at the same Olympics, and she repeated the feat four years later in Rio de Janeiro.
Overall, Felix has won 21 Olympic and world championship medals, more than any other American track and field athlete. She is also the only woman to win eight Olympic or world championship gold medals in a single event (the 200 meters).
“It has been an unbelievable journey, and I’m so thankful for all of the support I’ve received along the way,” Felix said. “I’m excited to see what the next chapter holds.”
Felix’s announcement comes just days after another decorated American track star, Allyson Felix, said she would be retiring following the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Both athletes will be 39 years old when they hang up their spikes.
Felix’s retirement will mark the end of an era in American track and field. She has been one of the faces of the sport for more than a decade, and her accomplishments have inspired millions of girls and women around the world.