Allyson Felix is more knowledgeable than any runner about how to get to the Olympic medals.
After being the headliner of a 4×400 relay victory that featured an impressive cast of American runners, she made her record-setting 11th visit there.
Felix stated that she was holding the gold medal and the Star-Spangled Banner in her hands.
Felix, a 35-year old sprinter, leaves the stage after winning the last race of his career’s final Games. He has won the most medals of any U.S. track athlete. It’s a long list. She passed Carl Lewis and now she trails only Paavo Nurmi, the Finnish distance runner who won 12 races between 1920 and 1928.
Felix, who took bronze in 400 meters to make her the most decorated woman in Olympic track, doesn’t plan to go further. She knows that she has nothing to prove as a sprinter.
She said, “I feel at ease.” “I went out, felt all the confidence in these incredible women. It was special because I wanted to do it all again.
She plans to continue being an active voice for women and mothers, especially those who hear the same thing she heard when she was pregnant with Cammy, now 2 years old: that once they have children, their best days as athletes are over.
However, if there were any doubts about her sport, the 3 minutes, 16.85-second race she took part in in her last Olympic event — which was good for a 3.68 second victory over Poland — put them to rest.
Athing Mu, a 19 year-old, ran the anchor leg to secure Felix’s medal. It was the seventh gold in her 11-year-old collection.
Sydney McLaughlin celebrated her 22nd Birthday by running the first lap. Felix handed her to Dalilah Muhammad (31), who was another hurdler.
Two things were common to them:
All of them won medals for their respective races during the nine-day event in Tokyo.
A few are also 400-meter specialists.
McLaughlin, Muhammad and Muhammad are friends in the hurdles. They went gold-silver. Mu won the 800. Felix considered herself more of an 800 runner than she is now. Three of her 11 medals came at this distance. Six medals were won in relays. All six medals were gold.
Muhammad described her reaction to Saturday’s eclectic lineup as “just honored”. She is deserving of the award, “Officially she earned it. She has been an inspiration to me throughout my career.”
Felix was not the only inspiring woman at the closing night track.
Sifan Hassan won a gold medal in a long race to complete the previously untried triple — 1,500, 5,000, 10,000
She claimed that she lost all feeling in her neck, arms and legs by the finish. After crossing the finish line, she was still sitting under the bleachers, drinking from a cup. She took home gold in the 5K and 10K, bronze in the 1,500 and hopefully an ice-bath in the near future.
She said that she wanted to celebrate, but when she finished, she fell to the ground.
The U.S. men’s relay team was also in celebration mode. America’s first and sole gold medal for men’s track runners was won by the combination of Michael Cherry, Michael Norman and Bryce Deadmon. The U.S. finished the stadium action with seven golds, and 26 overall medals.
Other firsts were also made.
India’s first ever gold medal in Olympic track & field was won by Neeraj Chopra with a javelin throw measuring 87.58 metres.
Mariya Lasitskene, from Russia, won the first Olympic track gold for the team. The country had been banned from allowing 10 athletes due to its long-running doping scandal.
Lasitskene stated that “it has broken a lot career,” Lasitskene said, “It has broken a lot of careers.”
Felix’s career was nearly halted by a difficult 32-week-old pregnancy, which led to an emergency C section that threatened both her and her baby’s lives.
Around that time, Nike was offering a cut in her salary — an insult she couldn’t ignore.
Felix, who had made her Olympic debut as a shy, smiley teenager in 2004, became something very different. She was now an outspoken advocate, not content to run and shut up.
Running was what got her to the podium. So it was fitting that the final platform she stepped on was the one on the medals stand.
She said, “I feel like there are no regrets.” “I feel like this sport has given me everything and there is nothing I can do on the Olympic stage that I don’t need.”
She said that her last baton pass was also a torch passing.