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Allyson Felix, Most Decorated U.S. Track Athlete, Makes Change For Other Women

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Hilary Clinton on her Facebook page, wrote: “After she gave birth to her daughter, Olympic runner Allyson Felix was given a pay cut by her sponsor, Nike. She joined two other Olympians—Alysia Montaño and Kara Goucher—to break her nondisclosure agreement, talk about it, and make change for other women.  Now she’s coming home from Tokyo with 11 medals. Congratulations to all the gutsy women of Team USA. You make us proud.”

The United States’ 4×400 women’s relay gold medal win on Saturday, Allyson Felix broke Carl Lewis’ record becomes the most decorated U.S. track athlete in Olympic history. The feat is the culmination of a career spanning over a decade, the first medal being awarded in the 200-meter final at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

Felix has made a name for herself on and off of the field of play, being a fierce advocate for maternity rights. In November 2018, she gave birth to her daughter, Camryn, after being diagnosed with severe preeclampsia. The illness is a potentially dangerous pregnancy complication and led to Felix undergoing an emergency c-section.

The following year Nike offered to renew her contract with a 70% pay-cut, she details in her 2019 New York Times. After broad public outcry and a congressional inquiry following the piece. Following this report, after broad public outcry and a congressional inquiry, Nike announced a new maternity policy for all sponsored athletes on Aug. 12. The new contract guarantees an athlete’s pay and bonuses for 18 months around pregnancy. Three other athletic apparel companies added maternity protections for sponsored athletes.

I’ve always known that expressing myself could hurt my career. I’ve tried not to show emotion, to anticipate what people expect from me and to do it. I don’t like to let people down. But you can’t change anything with silence.

Nike announced a new maternity policy for sponsored athletes guaranteeing an athlete’s pay and bonuses for 18 months around pregnancy.

As for the future, Felix told USA TODAY she intends to retire before the 2024 Paris Summer Games, so Tokyo looked to be her final Olympic hurrah. The hurrah is now capped with a historic record.

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