Olympic Medalist Allyson Felix Supports Fellow Female Athletes With Free ChildcareBy Peter C
The most decorated female track and field athlete Allyson Felix has become an advocate for professional athletes with children. The 37-year-old made this known to the public after announcing her plans to offer free childcare to staff, athletes, and coaches at track competitions.
To expand the reach of the initiative, Felix is partnering with Athleta, a nonprofit organization established by Alysia Montaño and Molly Dickens.
Felix’s advocacy for mothers began following a difficult pregnancy. She was diagnosed with severe preeclampsia, which can be fatal. To prevent further complications, the athlete had her child via C-section.
Following her experience, she became an advocate for mothers, particularly Black mothers, who face disproportionately high maternal death rates and poorer quality of care.
The lack of structural support for mom athletes who want or have children is so severe that becoming pregnant is considered “the kiss of death” for female athletes. The athlete wrote an op-ed for a major newspaper in 2019 about how her sponsor, Nike, failed to support mom athletes adequately.
Nike offered Felix 70% less money after her pregnancy during the negotiations.
Felix continues to support mom athletes by collaborating with the CDC’s Hear Her campaign, Athleta, and the Women’s Sports Foundation to provide grants to female athletes to cover childcare expenses while they train and compete. WSF and Athleta have so far awarded more than $200,000 in grants.
She said her goal for her final season is not to win medals but to contribute to the sport and support future mom-athletes, creating a more favorable environment for the next generation of women who want to balance child-rearing with athletic pursuits.
Additionally, she emphasized her heightened determination to establish a lasting legacy that empowers more women to excel as athletes and mothers.