If numbers never lie, Allyson Felix firmly belongs in the conversation for greatest Olympian of all time. After all, she strengthened her argument with an incredible performance at the Tokyo Olympics.
Felix, 35, finished the final race of her Olympic career with a gold medal in the 4×400 meter relay. Believe it or not, that was the 11th medal of her career, which makes her the most decorated American track and field athlete to compete at the Olympics.
There’s no doubt that Felix deserves a ton of credit for all of her accomplishments on the track. However, it’s important that sports fans also recognize her work off the track as well.
For this year’s Games, Felix partnered with Procter & Gamble and Pantene for the “What’s Your Legacy” campaign. The goal of this campaign is to show Felix’s journey not only as an athlete but as a mother as well.
We caught up with Allyson Felix to discuss her incredible Olympic career, her partnership with P&G and much more.
This interview with Allyson Felix is presented by Procter & Gamble.
The Spun: Can you tell me why your partnership with P&G and Pantene was the right fit?
Allyson Felix: I’m really proud of my partnership with P&G and Pantene. I’ve been partnered with P&G for several Olympic Games and I’ve really been happy with what they stand for. To be a part of this campaign with Pantene for “What’s your Legacy” and how they celebrate my work on and off the track has really made me excited. It’s really unique and important, and I feel like it makes a difference.
The Spun: How different has this Olympics been compared to years past now that you’re balancing being an athlete with being a mother?
AF: This Olympic Games was totally different from the ones I’ve been to before – I have a lot on my plate these days. I think the biggest change was that this year’s Games weren’t just about my performance. It was about representing women, representing mothers, and overcoming adversity.
My mom taught me how to take care of my hair, and now it's something I get to teach my daughter. Time spent doing her hair is time I wouldn't trade for anything, just like I wouldn't trade the time my mom spent doing mine. And that's part of my legacy 💛 #WhatsYourLegacy @Pantene pic.twitter.com/EDBIzrBsub
— Allyson Felix (@allysonfelix) July 29, 2021
The Spun: You recently shared an adorable video of your daughter, Camryn, reacting to a highlight reel of you. How awesome is it to see her already becoming her mom’s No.1 fan?
AF: So special. It’s really cool to see how much more she understands. I love seeing that, and having her look up and clap in excitement is the best feeling.
The Spun: Additionally, you put out an incredible message about how medals don’t define a female athlete. If you don’t mind, can you expand a little bit on that and why it’s so important to spread that message?
AF: It’s something I’ve struggled with for a long time and I feel like a lot of athletes have because it’s the nature of sports. So much is tied in with our performance and feeling of success. I wanted to be vulnerable and really transparent about that. I’ve done a lot of work to really move away from that. My performance in the field of play doesn’t define who I am as a person, it doesn’t define my own worth or my own value. It’s hard to maintain that because the world can scream at you that it’s absolutely the opposite. So to stand firm and reassure yourself can be challenging, but those are important conversations to have. That’s why I wanted to get that message across. We’re absolutely enough in our own right and we’re worthy of our dreams.
The Spun: You’ve been to the Olympics five times. When you look back at your stellar career, what do you think about everything you’ve accomplished?
AF: It’s so crazy to think back to each Olympics and how different each one has been. I’ve had some where they’ve been the most amazing, but I’ve also had some that felt devastating. This last one wrapped it all up together, and to me, it’s been the perfect culmination because I feel like I have grown and really come to a place where I’m comfortable with myself. I’m grateful for each experience.
The Spun: What was your mindset going into your final race?
AF: I just wanted to have fun during the final race. The 4×400 meter is a relay that we’re typically very strong in. I was so confident in my teammates – we had a really special team. So I just wanted to go out there and enjoy the last one, and that’s what I did. Being on the podium and hearing out national anthem one last time, I just couldn’t ask for more.
— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) August 7, 2021
The Spun: What is your favorite moment from your Olympic career?
AF: That’s a very tough one. I’m going to say it’s been here in Tokyo. I feel like it represents all of it. It’s hard to choose one moment from so many different experiences, but this one represents the hardships of all of them and the growth. To come to a place where I feel like this is so much bigger than what I did on the track is so special to me.
The Spun: Team USA has so many talented young athletes on the track, such as Dalilah Muhammad, Sydney McLaughlin and several others. What do you think when you see the abundance of talent in the sport right now?
AF: It excites me. They’re such bright lights in this sport and they’re going to carry that well into the future. I feel like the women held it down and that was really cool to see.
Humbled. Thank you! https://t.co/koUFBEVYlW
— Allyson Felix (@allysonfelix) August 9, 2021
The fact that Felix competed at five different Olympics is a testament to her work ethic and ability to overcome adversity. She is truly one of the best athletes this generation has seen.
You can read more of our interviews with athletes or media stars here.