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Serena Williams announced her “evolution” (read: pending retirement) from tennis earlier this week. One statement stood out more than her decision to soon walk away from the game. Williams somewhat surprisingly said that it’s unfortunate female athletes have to choose between their families and careers.
Olympic track star Allyson Felix disagrees.
Felix also recently walked away from her sport, like Williams. The most decorated track and field athlete in the United States Olympic history, Felix competed in the World Athletics Championships last month, then retired.
About a week later, Felix came back to the track and helped Team USA win a 4×400-meter relay. Then she called it a career once again, this time for good. “I’m not coming back,” she said in an interview with Romper.
In that same interview, Felix touched on her experiences competing as a top-tier athlete while at the same time raising a family.
“To be able to say, ‘You don’t have to choose between motherhood and anything else is a small thing that you can do for women and to be able to show up for them in that way,” Felix said.
Felix also wrote a New York Times Op-Ed piece in 2019 that led to Nike changing its maternity policies. Nike female athletes now continue to get paid for 18 months around their pregnancy.
Before retiring, Felix started making forays into the business world and started her own company, Saysh, a women’s lifestyle brand.
Felix has 11 Olympic medals to her name. She appeared at five Olympics, most recently the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
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