'Incredible' to pass Lewis' mark: Felix

NEW YORK • Allyson Felix said surpassing Carl Lewis as the most decorated US track and field athlete was "never a goal" but that it was "amazing" to have achieved the feat after winning her 11th Olympic medal at the Tokyo Games.

The 13-gold world champion picked up bronze in the 400m and gold as part of the United States' 4x400m relay team in Tokyo to move past American great Lewis' record of 10 medals. Paavo Nurmi of Finland holds the all-time mark with 12 medals from 1920-28.

Felix, who was honoured late on Wednesday with the individual Sportswoman of the Year Award at the non-profit charity Women's Sports Foundation's annual event, said she was at the point in her career where she could appreciate all she had achieved.

"It's amazing to be the most decorated American track and field athlete in Tokyo, to be able to pass Carl Lewis - it's an interesting thing because it was never a goal that I set out to accomplish," said the 35-year-old.

"It was kind of something that I'm able to get to this point in my career and look back to see.

"It's just incredible to be in (Lewis') company. I think it just shows female athletes that we have no limit."

Felix picked up her first Olympic medal - a silver - in the 200m at the 2004 Athens Games and went on to win seven golds over the next four Games.

She later became an advocate for working mothers after giving birth to her daughter, Camryn, via an emergency C-section in 2018. In a New York Times opinion piece, she said she faced pay cuts from sponsors, including Nike, after having her child.

Nike later said that it would not financially penalise pregnant athletes.

Meanwhile, Felix is also contemplating if she wants to retire or compete for another year.

The 2022 World Championships in Eugene, Oregon remain a possibility and she added that she is still "making those final decisions".

"It still sounds very interesting to me," she said. "Kind of just seeing if it's going to be the (next) move."

REUTERS

  • 2004

    Allyson Felix (above) won her first Olympic medal at the Athens Games 17 years ago, a silver in the 200m.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 15, 2021, with the headline ''Incredible' to pass Lewis' mark: Felix'. Subscribe