Allyson Felix, a U.S. athlete dedicated to supporting mothers and children, just set an Olympic record as the most decorated female track athlete in history.
The AP reports Felix won her 10th Olympic medal on Friday – a bronze – after she finished third in the 400-meter race in Tokyo. The 35-year-old athlete and mother could have the chance to win an 11th medal if she competes in the 4×400 relay final on Saturday, according to the report.
Earlier this summer, the 35-year-old athlete established a fund to help Olympic athletes with childcare expenses. Many pro-life advocates have praised Felix for advocating for athletes who are mothers, noting how frequently female athletes face pressure to abort their unborn babies.
“As a mom and an athlete, I know first-hand the obstacles women face in sports,” Felix said in July when she announced the new “Power of She” fund in partnership with Athleta and the Women’s Sports Foundation.
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Here’s more from the AP:
Felix has spoken candidly about the struggle to come back from a difficult pregnancy that led to an emergency C-section and put the lives of both her and her baby in jeopardy.
She’s spoken of the pressure she felt to return quickly, even when her body wasn’t responding the way it once did.
Not long after her daughter Camryn was born, Felix said she was slated to compete at the World Championships. She said she was exhausted from training, taking care of her daughter and breastfeeding; then, she learned that she was supposed to share a room at the competition with another athlete, making it basically impossible for her to bring her daughter.
Felix said the experience inspired her to do more to help athletes who are mothers.
“It was important to me and to Athleta that our partnership reflects that I am more than just an athlete. In fact, part of my contract includes provisions for my daughter, Camryn, to join me whenever I am competing,” Felix said. “But not everyone has access to this type of support from a partner or sponsor. These grants are about showing the industry that all mom-athletes need this same comprehensive support to be able to participate in their athletic endeavors.”
Earlier this summer, she said Tokyo will be her final Olympic games and the first with her daughter, now 2.
Female athletes often face intense pressure to choose between their unborn babies and their careers. U.S. Olympic hurdler Brianna McNeal, a Christian, recently admitted that she felt “shaken” and “traumatized after having an abortion” to further her career.
In 2017, another Olympic gold medalist, Sanya Richards-Ross, admitted that she also had an abortion to further her athletic career. Later, she said she found God’s grace and healing, and decided to begin helping other post-abortive women do the same.
Other Olympians have shared powerful stories about choosing life for their babies and competing while pregnant to prove that their babies’ lives are worth sacrificing for.