File this under “empirical proof that mothers are real-life superheroes.” In 2019 Olympic sprinter Allyson Felix broke a record held by none other than Usain Bolt…and is if that weren’t enough, consider this: She did it at just 10 months postpartum.
Allyson, a US national sprinter, won her 12th gold medal at the World Championships in the fall. That win made Allyson the record for most gold medals at the track and field world championships, according to CNN.
She broke a world record less than a year after the NICU was her world.
And as 2019 comes to a close her story data from Buzzsumo shows that this mother’s story was one of the most viral sports stories of the year.
We are so glad people loved Allyson’s story, because we sure did.
It goes without saying that this is a staggering achievement. To break any athletic record is a major, major accomplishment — and it’s even more impressive when you consider that Allyson surpassed a legend like Usain Bolt to do so. Immediately after breaking this record, the athlete posted a photo of herself running along with the caption “this one is for my baby mamas.”
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Allyson had a tough, complicated pregnancy and birth story, which she opened up about to ESPN. “I know how to take care of myself. I know how to eat right and get enough rest. And I’d been doing everything right throughout the whole pregnancy,” Allyson says.
“[But] when I got to the hospital [at 32 weeks], I knew pretty quickly that something was very wrong. My blood pressure was way too high. The baby’s heart rate was decelerating. This was dangerous for both of us and if it didn’t improve soon, I was going to have to deliver her by emergency C-section within 48 hours. It’s amazing how quickly your priorities change in moments like this. At that point, the only thing I cared about was that my daughter, Camryn, was OK. I didn’t care if I ever ran track again. I was just praying that she would be OK.”
But Allyson certainly did run again—she stepped up to the starting line again 8 months after her daughter’s birth—and motherhood may have even made her better and stronger than she was before. It has certainly inspired her in some truly important ways: In August, Allyson was inspired to join fellow female athletes to challenge Nike to change its maternity policies for athletes.
Allyson Felix is incredible and she is proof that motherhood doesn’t slow women down.
[This post was originally published October 1, 2019. It has been updated.]