LOS ANGELES — Allyson Felix lost Sunday in what was billed as the final game of his career.
But before she could regain her breath, she was beaming again.
Held on a 100-meter track in downtown Los Angeles, the race culminated in “The Allyson Felix Race For Change,” an event organized by sportswear company Athleta to raise awareness about childcare and Awareness of the importance of women’s equality.
Immediately after finishing second in the final race, Felix picked up the microphone and mentioned the athlete, saying: “You guys asked me how I wanted to get out and I said in my dream world I’m all out on the streets of Los Angeles. On the run. People.”
The audience cheered, and Felix, who was born and raised in the Los Angeles area, continued: “It was a lot of fun hanging out with everyone all day.”
But not all happiness.
Ashley Henderson said she felt a little guilty after beating Felix in the 100m sprint, which ended the day-long event that drew a crowd that included Felix’s parents, brother, husband and daughter. Hundreds of people mainly came to see Felix, the most honored American track and field athlete in Olympic history.
But in the final race, sprinter Henderson from St. Louis won in 11.46 seconds.
Felix finished second in 11.66 seconds and sprinter Chloe Abbott from Michigan finished third in 12.34 seconds. The Heat showed only those three sprinters on the five-lane street track.
“I know it’s her activity, it’s all about her, and it’s still going to be whoever goes online first,” Henderson said.
wanted:Star power, competition, villains. Track races are growing in popularity in the United States.
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Earlier in the day, Felix helped her 3-year-old daughter Kami into the starting block for the first time. Later, the mother and daughter ran down the track together as Cammy wore her gleaming gold shoes. Although slow, Allyson Felix grabbed her daughter’s right hand and guided her across the finish line.
No one seemed concerned about Cammy finishing the day at the end, giving us a glimpse into the next stage in Allyson Felix’s life as other mothers and daughters raced the same track at a free public event.
About three weeks ago, Felix competed in the final race of her career – winning a bronze medal in the mixed-gender 4x400m relay at the World Championships. Now she runs with a different purpose and focus.
After Cammy crossed the finish line, Allyson Felix took her to a VIP tent, fetched her water and snacks, and sat down on the comfy sofa next to her.
“Just being a mother really put me on a different path, which I guess I didn’t expect,” Felix, 36, later told USA TODAY Sports. “It’s just more thoughtful and definitely shifted things from always focusing on a specific goal to thinking about the way I want Cammy to grow, and I think that motivates me to do things differently and make different choices.”
Biggest option lately: Exit the track.
“I think it probably hasn’t even happened yet, what it would actually be,” she said. “It’s been really emotional this year, and it’s hard for me to realize that it’s time for me to leave. But because I’ve been doing this for the past 20 years, I’ve lost something I absolutely love doing and I’m so passionate about doing it thing.
“I’ve talked to other athletes who have gone down this path and I think it’s just something I have to figure out, even if I have the next big challenge and I’m ready for everything I’m going to do …but I think it’s more of an emotional thing, like losing.
Is it time to start developing her own track star in Camryn? After all, Cammy’s father, Allyson’s husband, Kenny Ferguson, is also a former sprinter who won three gold medals at the 2003 Pan American Junior Championships.
“I kind of pushed her in a different direction,” Felix said. “Yeah, it might be selfish, but I’ve been in a lot of games. I’d love to see her play tennis or golf, or do something different. But obviously whatever she wants to do, I’ll support it.
Felix is also thinking about her own future, and it’s not just about parenting. The main focus will be on her shoe company Saysh, she said. She also noted that she recently joined the IOC Athletes’ Commission, saying: “So I’m happy to hope to have some impact there, to keep trying to do something.”
After years of working with coach Bobby Kersee, you’re unlikely to see her coaching anytime soon.
“I blame Bobby, I’m not the next Bobby,” Felix said with a laugh. “I was like, ‘The pain you’ve caused my life.'” I think what he really left me, what he and Jackie (Joey Nackey), like mentor characters, look like .
“I don’t have that kind of coaching mistakes right now. But I want to help the next generation. I want to share my experience and help them along the way. That way, I do want to be active.”
She’s already giving back by providing childcare – something she knew was essential after giving birth to her daughter in 2018, and eight months later she started preparing for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
Ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, Felix and Athleta pledged $200,000 to help fund childcare costs for mothers who are also athletes while competing. In June, she provided free child care to fellow athletes at the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon.
“The dream is to make this the norm for all events,” she said. “Obviously it’s going to take a lot of work to get this to work, but that’s where I’d like to see it, and just figure out ways to be thoughtful and supportive of women.”