TOKYO (AFP) – She describes herself as an “old lady”. He admits that he doubts that he will compete for a long time. There were times when “making it” had nothing to do with the Olympics and more than anything to do with getting out of a hospital bed.
It’s no surprise, then, that Alison Felix attended her last Olympics without fear of losing.
And it was no surprise that on this Friday night he came out a winner.
The gold medal in the women’s 400 meters was not. But bronze would look absolutely beautiful in your trophy case. It’s the number 10 medal, which leaves it high in the record books.
On a sticky, humid but exciting night in Tokyo – Felix – the speedy deer, mother, activist, real-life woman – has become the most honored track athlete in Olympic history.
He looked glowing as he climbed down the steps of the podium at the Olympic Stadium – the shiny new bronze sitting on his white “USA” embroidered jersey.
He said, “A lot of times, I’ve given all of these tournaments priority. And I didn’t want to do it this time. I had to go through a lot. I’ve always been running for the gold. But tonight I just wanted to have a moment of happiness, and get over what’s going to happen.” “.
Felix’s 10th Olympic medal broke a tie with Jamaican sprinter Merlin Ooty, and is now tied with Carl Lewis, who has won 10 medals and is ranked as America’s most successful track athlete. Felix Lewis may pass on Saturday, when he is expected to be part of the 4×400 relay.
She had to start on Friday, as it should have been this time, in the lonelier spot on the track, Callie 9. It’s the fairway at the end, in front of the younger competitors, all behind her and where she can’t see them.
Throughout his illustrious career, one spanned five Olympics and two decades, rarely a part of 9. It was the turn of those with few chances of winning.
But first, avoid what destroys the runners. She was eager to leave very quickly, a natural instinct when she didn’t know where the rest were headed.
He ran close to perfect, considering the conditions. I do not win. Very few people expected this. It came one second 10 hundredths from Shawn Miller Uibo, the Bahamas who took gold five years ago in Rio, when she sprinted at the finish line while Felix ran straight.
It hurts. Second place in Athens and Beijing as well. Felix, an athlete who doubts her privacy, ended up crying after those results.
After this week’s semi-final that saw martyrdom from start to finish, I realize she’s no longer the little girl before. What he didn’t say was that the ending wouldn’t be a fairy tale.
He said, “Of course, I didn’t want to find myself in this position, because it’s what I was hoping to achieve. But I can put both things aside. I feel like I’ve traveled a lot compared to the other games. These were different. It sounds cliched, but it’s honestly something that goes beyond just the fact of coming out to run.”
The bronze medal came nearly three years after Felix sparked controversy over the treatment of women in athletics and sports in general. She messed up her contract with Nike, which deducted payments from the contracts of the women they nurtured if they became pregnant. Felix gave birth to a daughter in 2018.
She got her medal in a pair of sneakers she designed for the company she founded.
Felix also spoke honestly about the difficulty of resuming competition after a pregnancy that required an emergency caesarean section that put her life and her baby at risk.
During the week, he gave voice to a topic that has found resonance in Tokyo: winning isn’t everything and the pressure of getting on the podium makes the entire effort more difficult.
He wrote in a message on social networks that he broadcast hours before the race: “When I get ready to run, I am usually afraid. I am not afraid to lose. I lose much more than I gain. This is life as it should be.”
In the end, Felix had nothing to fear.
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