Allyson Felix is an American track and field sprinter who is a six-time Olympic gold medalist. One of the most decorated female Olympians in the track and field history, she has a total of nine medals. A runner who specializes in the 100 m, 200 m, and 400 m, she ran the fastest sprint ever recorded by an American woman in the 4 × 400 m relay at the 2015 World Championships. Interested in sports from a young age, she displayed great speed on the track and strength in the gym while still in high school. In 2003, she was named the national girls' "High School Athlete of the Year" by ‘Track and Field News.’ Upon graduating from high school she decided to forego college eligibility and signed a professional contract with Adidas who paid her college tuition at the University of Southern California. She made her Olympics debut as an 18-year-old in the 2004 Summer Games in Athens where she earned a silver medal in the 200-meter race. She enjoyed greater success at the 2012 Olympic Games in London with a tally of three golds. Her successes continued over the following years and she proceeded to win two more gold medals at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. She is coached by the famous coach Bob Kersee.
Childhood & Early Life
Allyson Michelle Felix was born on November 18, 1985, in California. Her father, Paul, is an ordained minister and professor of New Testament at The Master's Seminary in Santa Clarita Valley, California, and her mother, Marlean, is an elementary school teacher at Balboa Magnet Elementary. Allyson has one older brother, Wes Felix, who is also a sprinter and now acts as her manager. She is a devout Christian.
She attended Los Angeles Baptist High School in North Hills where she realized her athletic abilities. With the guidance of her coach Samson Young, she deadlifted at least 270 pounds while still a school student. She also displayed exceptional ability in track and field. In 2003, she was named the national girls' "High School Athlete of the Year" by ‘Track and Field News.’
She graduated in 2003 and chose to forego college eligibility. Instead, she signed a professional contract with Adidas who also paid her college tuition at the University of Southern California. Eventually she graduated with a degree in elementary education.
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Allyson Felix made her Olympic debut at the 2004 Summer Olympics. She performed well to clinch the silver medal in the 200 m behind Veronica Campbell of Jamaica. Aged just 18, she set a World Junior record in 200 m with atime of 22.18.
In 2005, she competed at the World Championships in Helsinki where she became the youngest-ever gold medalist in the 200 m. Two years later, she successfully defended her title at Osaka by beating Veronica Campbell.
She qualified for the 200 m at the trials for the 2008 Olympic Games but just missed qualifying for the 100 m. At the Games, she clinched the silver medal in the 200 m, finishing just behind Campbell who won the gold. Felix was also part of the U.S. women's team which ran the 4 x 400 m relay and finished first, earning Felix an Olympic gold medal.
At the 2009 World Championships in Athletics, she once again won the gold medal at the 200 m, becoming the first woman to claim her third 200 m World Championships gold medal.
From 2010 she began focusing on both 200 m and 400 m and ran these two events along with the 4×100 and 4×400 m relays at the 2011 World Championships in Athletics. She won two teams golds in the relay events though she failed to win an individual gold at the Championships.
Allyson Felix participated in 100 m, 200 m, 4 × 100 m relay, and 4 × 400 m relay at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, winning the gold medals in the 200 m, 4 × 100 m relay, and 4 × 400 m relay. This feat made her the second American woman to win three golds in athletics at an Olympics. The first was Florence Griffith-Joyner at the 1988 Summer Olympics.
In the 2013 World Championships in Moscow, Felix participated in the 200 m during the course of which she ended up with a hamstring injury. The injury was so severe that she had to be carried from the track. Due to the injury, she was forced to stay away from athletics for several months before making a comeback in the 400 m at the Shanghai Diamond League meet in May 2014, in which she finished fifth.
Over the ensuing months she worked hard to regain her stamina and form and proceeded to win the 2014 IAAF Diamond League 200 meter title. At the 2015 World Championships in Athletics, she won the gold in the 400 m and clinched the silver in both the 4 × 100 m relay and 4 × 400 m relay.
Allyson Felix performed brilliantly at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics to clinch the gold medal in both the 4 × 100 m relay and 4 × 400 m relay, and the silver in the 400 m, taking her overall Olympic tally to nine – six golds and three silvers.
Awards & Achievements
Allyson Felix is a four-time recipient of the Jesse Owens Award from USATF (2005, 2007, 2010 and 2012). She is only the second woman—after Marion Jones—to win the award three times.
She also won the Women's Track & Field ESPY Award in 2006.
She won the IAAF female athlete of the year in 2012.
Personal Life & Legacy
Despite her busy schedule she maintains close relations with her family, especially her brother Wes.
Allyson Felix is in a longtime relationship with fellow sprinter Kenneth Ferguson.