Prior to competing in her final Olympics this summer in Tokyo, Allyson Felix spoke to The Root about the challenges she faced while training throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I think the biggest challenge was having a place to train,” she said. “I live in Los Angeles and we have been super locked down. We were training on the beach; any area that was open and isolated during all of that. [...] We went to Arizona for a bit to train because we literally were getting kicked out of tracks here.”
Despite these obstacles, the 35-year-old still made it a point to race her way into the history books after winning the bronze medal on Friday in the women’s 400-meter event. By doing so, she collected her 10th Olympic medal and became the most decorated woman in Olympic track and field history, according to ESPN. She also tied Carl Lewis for the most Olympic medals won by an American track and field athlete.
The Los Angeles native has been outspoken about gender inequality and the need for maternity protections throughout professional sports, and by competing in her first Olympic Games since giving birth to her daughter Camryn in 2018, she hopes to inspire other women with her journey.
“Hopefully, a lot of mothers will see themselves in me,” Felix said earlier this week. “I just want to be that inspiration.”
I think it’s safe to say that she’s succeeded.
Also etching his name in the history books is U.S. wrestling heavyweight Gable Steveson, who came through in the clutch like Reggie Miller with this spectacular buzzer-beater to take home Olympic gold:
From USA Today:
The 21-year-old U.S. men’s freestyle heavyweight scored a pair of late takedowns, the second with less than a second remaining, to magically transform an 8-5 deficit into a 10-8 gold medal victory over Georgia’s Geno Petriashvili.
The 21-year-old collegian from Minnesota became the first U.S. freestyle heavyweight gold medalist since Bruce Baumgartner in 1992. The way it happened, after leading 4-0 in the first period then falling behind to the 2016 bronze medalist, is stunning almost to the level of Rulon Gardner’s Greco-Roman heavyweight upset of Russian Aleksandr Karelin at the 2000 Olympics.
“People are going to remember the name,” Steveson told reporters afterward. “I’m going to live in the moment right now.”
Aside from taking home a gold medal, the 260-pound behemoth will also receive $250,000 from USA Wrestling’s Living The Dream medal fund.
“There’s a lot of possibilities for me with this gold medal,” he said. “A lot of doors opened after me winning a national (NCAA) title and now the whole world is open for me to see.”
Congrats to both Allyson and Gabe for demonstrating Black excellence on the world’s biggest stage.