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In our Thrills in Tokyo series, we’ll highlight some of the summer Olympics biggest competitions. More than just focusing on the teams, we’ll look at the colleges from which these athletes hail.
Allyson Felix continues to write her own story.
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The University of Southern California legend is on her way to becoming the most decorated Olympian in women's track and field history. With nine Olympic medals— six gold, three silver—she only needs one more to break Jamaica's Merlene Ottey record.
Clinching medals in every Olympics since Athens 2004, Felix's journey to Tokyo hasn't been an easy one. In November 2018, a routine appointment at the 32-week mark during her pregnancy revealed that the lives of her and daughter Camryn were at high risk. After an emergency C-section and a month in the hospital for Camryn, both made full recoveries. And only ten months later, Felix put on her running shoes again and broke the record for most gold medals of any athlete at the World Athletics Championships, when she clinched her 12th and 13th world titles.
And with motherhood came a new sense of purpose for the sprinter. She has become a champion of athlete mothers worldwide and even addressed Congress about racial disparities in maternal mortality. "When I think about the world that Cammy will grow up in, I don't want her—or any other woman or girl—to have to fight the battles that I fought," explained Felix to CNBC.
And speaking of battles, there is some unfinished business Felix needs to attend to while in Tokyo.
One of the most memorable moments of the Rio 2016 Olympics took place on the track field: the dive in the 400-meter women's final when Bahamian Shaunae Miller-Uibo launched herself across the finish line to win the gold medal. The Georgia Bulldog athlete—married to fellow Bulldog and Estonian decathlete Maicel Uibo—beat Felix by a mere 0.07 seconds.
The possibility of a rematch is still hanging. Whereas Felix will only run in the 400-meter race, Miller-Uibo is still undecided. Though she has qualified for both the 200- and 400-meter competitions, the Olympic scheduling might create some conflict (the first round of the 200- and the 400-meter final take place on the same day).
Regardless of if there's a rematch or not, Felix is ready to win her tenth Olympic medal—and her first as a mom.
For sports excitement, turn to the Olympics. For driving thrills, click here to see what Nissan has to offer.
Catch full Olympic coverage on NBC, including the first round of the Women’s 400-meter competition, tonight, Monday at 8:00 p.m. ET.