The Muhammad Ali Legacy Award from Sports Illustrated has been given to Olympic track champion Allyson Felix for 2022.
At the age of 36, the 11-time Olympic medalist (seven gold) announced his retirement from the sport.
She participated in five straight Olympics, won 10 national championships in three different sports, and has 20 medals from the World Athletic Championships (14 gold).
She has the title of most decorated athlete in the annals of the international athletics championships thanks to her resume.
On top of all that achievement, Felix had a challenging pregnancy in 2018 and gave birth to her daughter Camryn.
Felix had been identified as having severe preeclampsia, a form of high blood pressure that may be dangerous for pregnant women.
Camryn was born two months early, and Felix had to go into an emergency C-section to deliver her daughter.
The Olympian trained at dawn while she was six months pregnant so no one would see her baby bump.
Felix ended up choosing not to re-sign with Nike after giving birth because the company declined to allow maternity benefits in her 12-month proposed deal.
Shortly after, Felix took a stand. Her voice and actions led Nike to announce a new maternity policy that includes 18 months of pay for sponsored athletes who have children.
Felix did not choose to work with Nike again, though, and was signed by Athleta instead.
I always think about my daughter and the world that she’s gonna grow up in, and I would love for that to be a more equal world,” Felix said in her interview with Sports Illustrated.
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She shouldn’t be constrained or forced to consider everything twice just because she is a woman, in my ideal world.
Therefore, all of those things serve to motivate me and remind me that there is still a lot to accomplish.
After giving birth to Camryn, Felix returned to racing eight months later.
Before the American trials for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, she earned her 12th and 13th gold medals at world championship competitions.