Allyson Felix made Olympic history for a second consecutive day when she won her 11th career Olympic medal Saturday, making her the most decorated U.S. track Olympian.
Felix, 35, won gold in the women’s 4×400-meter relay – her last race at the Tokyo Olympics. Felix and the relay team clocked in at 3:16.85, a season-best time for the U.S. 4×400 women’s relay. Felix, who was the team’s second runner, completed her lap around the track in 49.38 seconds.
This gold medal marks Felix’s first in Tokyo and seventh career Olympic gold medal. Felix, who grew up in the Santa Clarita Valley and attended L.A. Baptist High School, won her first Olympic medal at the Athens Olympics in 2004, when she was still a teenager.
Felix had won her 10th medal – a bronze in the women’s 400-meter final – on Friday, tying the U.S. Olympic track medal record held by Carl Lewis and becoming the most decorated female track athlete in the history of the Games.
In the 4×400 relay, Felix and her U.S. teammates Sydney McLaughlin, 22, Dalilah Muhammad, 31, and Athing Mu, 19, left the eight-team field in their dust, finishing almost four seconds ahead of second-place Poland.
In the post-race interview after the gold medal-winning relay performance, Felix credited her younger teammates and, just as she passed the baton at the end of the second leg of the relay, she figuratively passed it to her teammates.
“It was so special,” Felix told NBC. “To do it with these bright lights of the sport, who are going to carry this sport, you know, so far, it’s just so special.”
Felix confirmed that this would be her final Olympics, but she didn’t completely close the door to making one more appearance in the world track championships, which are scheduled to be held in July 2022 at the University of Oregon — marking the first time the track world championships are to be hosted in the United States.
Asked what she would like her 2-year-old daughter, Camryn, to take away from her final Olympic performance, Felix responded: “I don’t think I’ve ever been the fastest. I’ve never had the world records, but I’ve tried my best with what I have, with character and integrity, and I think that’s all we want for, you know, for women in the future. That’s what I want for my daughter and now she’s going to have these amazing women to look up to as well.”