Allyson Felix ran into the sunset of her Olympic career by surpassing Carl Lewis to become the most decorated U.S. Olympic track and field athlete of all time.
During the Tokyo Olympics, Allyson Felix ended her Olympic career on the highest of notes by becoming the most decorated U.S. Olympic track and field athlete of all time. She and her teammates ran all the way to the gold during her final event, the 4x400 relay, bringing her medal total to 11. Not only was this an impressive feat on an athletic scale, but Felix's continued excellence on the track was a loud-and-clear signal for all who doubted she'd still be able to perform at a high level after giving birth to her daughter in 2018. Felix has also become a vocal advocate for maternal healthcare after the double whammy of undergoing an emergency Cesarean section in November 2018 and her former sponsor, Nike, refusing to offer support and protection for its female athletes, something Felix called out in a 2019 New York Times op-ed (which her earned her a spot on our 2019 list). This year, Felix partnered with her new sponsor, Athleta, to create a $200,000 fund to help cover the cost of childcare for 10 athletes who are mothers. "Even though I was terrified, it was really important for me to speak my truth," Allyson Felix told Highsnobiety. "It was really the shift of becoming a mother, and also the mother to a girl. I did not want her to face the same challenges that have been here my entire career."