Sprinter Allyson Felix is definitely one to watch at the 2016 Summer Games in Rio.
In a recent interview with The Huffington Post, the track star and gold medal Olympian sprinter dished about gender inequality in sports, how strong Black women have inspired her over the years and how her faith helped her overcome adversity.
“I think as a black female, our value seems to be so much less than our [male] counterpart so that’s always something that we’re aware of and you try to change [that] for the next generation” the 30-year-old, 6-time medalist said about addressing gender inequality in the sports world.
“I think that it’s amazing that there are so many strong black athletes that are out there, like Serena Williams, who are doing such amazing things and breaking barriers and breaking people’s thoughts of what I should be. So for me, I definitely try to focus on a positive image and change for the next generation,” she added.
Felix also told reporter Taryn Finley that her inspiration doesn’t just come from other athletes, but from everyday women in her life her 97-year-old grandmother who passed away.
“[They would] give me the strength to carry on,” she stressed.
And while this is Felix’s fourth Olympics, she was concerned that she wasn’t going to make the team this year. Weeks before the trials she severely injured her ankle and couldn’t even walk.
“My preparation was going so well that when I suffered that injury, it kind of shook everything up. I wasn’t sure that I’d even still be going to Rio. It threw a big wrench in my plans and I just had to kind of pick up the pieces and get creative…I don’t even know how this happened. I wasn’t even walking a few months ago and, somehow, I’m on the team,” she said.
But for Felix, overcoming adversity is easier when you have faith on your side.
“Faith leads my life. That’s definitely the reason that I run. I definitely feel like I’ve been blessed with this gift, and so that’s something that helps me to see the bigger picture. It’s so easy to get caught up in winning everything and just the kind of the grind of what professional sports is, but it definitely helps me to kind of pull back and see that there’s a greater purpose” she recently told the Los Angeles Times.
She added, “[Career down moments] are still difficult. I think a lot of times you want faith to kind of be the answer to everything, and it’s still a struggle to get there, you know? There are very real moments that are hard, but I think that it helps me to be able to learn the lesson that there is a purpose, a reason why maybe that happened, and it can create something in you and it might be preparing you for something better in the future.”
Catch Felix compete in the 400-meter and 4×400-meter this week!