Allyson Felix is an American sprinter from California. She is a three-time Olympian, and will be competing in the Rio 2016 Olympics.
According to TeamUSA.org, Felix first tried running track in 9th grade. She participated in her first Olympics in 2004, and has won four Olympic gold medals since: 2008 Beijing 4×400m relay, 2012 London 200m, 2012 London 4×100m relay, 2012 London 4×400m relay. She also has two Olympic silver medals and multiple gold medals in the World Championships.
Find out more about the rising runner below.
1. The 100m Race Is Her Baby
Felix competes in the 400m sprint, 200m sprint, and the 400m and 100m relays, and has competed in the 100m sprint, but only one race has her heart.
According to IAAF.org, Felix has such an attachment to the 200m that she calls it her “baby.”
2. She Went Pro After High School
After winning a senior national indoor title three months before her graduation from Los Angeles Baptist High School in 2003, Felix became one of the world’s top sprinters. She went pro upon graduation at the age of 18.
Since then, the three-time Olympian has won six medals, four gold and two silver.
3. She Wants to Be a Teacher
Even though she was already a professional athlete, Felix put her education first. After high school, the athlete attended the University of Southern California and graduated with an education degree in 2008. She completed her degree in 4.5 years, which is almost as impressive as her bevy of medals, considering she was a full-time professional athlete while in school, according to USA Today.
According to USA Today, eventually, felix wants to teach fourth- and fifth-graders.
Like mother like daughter; Felix’s mother, Marlean, is an elementary school teacher.
4. She Loves Gymnastics, Basketball, and Baking
Felix’s brother Wes told ESPN that she “talks about basketball being her first love,” however, that’s not the case. It’s not what you think–it’s not running either. “But really, it was gymnastics,” he wrote. As a child, she desperately wanted a balance beam so she could practice, “at the time, she’s just in a tumble class for like 30 minutes on a Thursday,” Wes wrote.
She was 8 years old at the time, and understandably, didn’t have a budget for a balance beam, according to ESPN.
Worse than that, she was almost her full height in third, fourth grade–too tall to be a gymnast. She didn’t know the real gymnastics world, but she did know Dominique Dawes. She was just obsessed with Dominique and looked up to her so much.
She’s still a big fan of gymnastics and Dominique. “In 2010, when she was asked to join President Obama’s Council on Fitness, Sports, & Nutrition, she called me. She was like, ‘Dominique Dawes is on the Council! This is going to be so great!’ her brother wrote.
5. She’s Broken Records and Wants to Break More
Felix won her first Olympic medal in the women’s 200m at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens and secured the world junior record at 22.18, according to USA Track & Field. In 2005, the runner went undefeated in the 200m, winning the world title and recorded the three fastest times in the world, says USATF.org.
They also report that Felix became the second woman in history to win three gold medals at one World Championships (200m, 4x100m and 4x400m) in 2007, and there’s more:
In 2012 Felix won her long-awaited individual Olympic gold medal in the 200m, and became the first athlete since Florence Griffith-Joyner in 1988 to win three gold medals in a single Olympic Games. She made history at the 2009 IAAF World Outdoor Championships by becoming the first woman ever to win three world 200-meter titles.
According to TeamUSA.org, no woman in history has won as many world outdoor championship gold medals as her nine, and “no track and field athlete in the last three Olympics has won more medals than her six–four golds, two silvers.”
In the 2016 summer Olympics in Rio, Felix hopes to compete doubly—in the 200 and 400—and become the third woman to win gold in both at an Olympics, according to The Washington Post.
Felix just qualified for the 400m race at the Olympic Trials in Oregon in 49.68 seconds, clocking the fastest time in the world.