The preparations for Tokyo are well underway. This weekend, American athlete Allyson Felix, who has nine medals and is one of the most-decorated track-and-field Olympians in its history, This summer, she’s expected to compete in the 400-meter category—her last time competing at the Olympics, and her first time competing as a mother. “I want to show my daughter, Camryn, that we do things with character, with integrity, and that we don’t give up,” Felix tells Vogue of qualifying. “I’m proud to have fought to make it to this moment.”
Felix gave birth to her daughter, Camryn, in 2018, and she has since been candid about her recovery and struggles while returning to training. In 2019, she broke up with her then sponsor due to the circumstances related to her childbirth, sharing in a powerful New York Times op-ed that she faced a 70% pay cut in her sponsorship because of it. “During my pregnancy, I faced a gender injustice that I couldn’t run from,” she tells Vogue. “My employer [Nike] did not support my maternity in a way that I could be proud of.” With no big shoe sponsor this year, Felix decided to take matters into her own hands. But instead of finding the right performance shoe, she decided to channel her frustrations into creating an athleisure sneaker under her new brand, Says.