So the world champs for athletics brought in a mixed gender 4 x 400m relay for the first time this year (yay!). Allyson Felix and the rest of team USA smashed it, breaking a world record in the process. Felix also dethroned old mate Usain Bolt as the superhuman with the highest number of world champ gold medals. She managed to swing all of this just ten months after giving birth. Excuse me while I drag my sorry ass to the gym.
Allyson Felix is amazing – no doubt about that. But if you’d asked me a week ago if I knew who she was, I would’ve given you an excellent stunned mullet impression. Where is the widespread media coverage of her smashing records left right and centre? Twitter and I both wondered this:
There’s not enough talk about Alysson Felix breaking Usain Bolt’s record ten months after giving birth. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻https://t.co/ZZEW8Aq3L7
— Rita J. (@are_elle_jay) October 2, 2019
Allyson Felix is arguably the sprinting GOAT 🐐
Gave birth last year, now takes all-time lead for World Championship gold medals:
12: Allyson Felix
11: Usain Bolt
8: Lasham Merritt, Carl Lewis, Michael Johnson
— John Burn-Murdoch (@jburnmurdoch) September 29, 2019
What The Heck @Every News Outlet?
The media did Felix wrong not celebrating her achievements properly. What’s worse is the struggle she had with sponsors and her growing family hardly got a mention. A crazy talented athlete, literally in top form less than a year after creating another human being is a feat of some bloody tough determination if you ask me. Turns out Nike (her former sponsor) disagreed. They wouldn’t guarantee Felix that her deal would be intact with the (completely reasonable) drop in her athletic performance immediately after giving birth.
Nike dropped Allyson Felix for getting pregnant… sis came back 10 months after giving birth and beat Usain Bolt’s record for world title? Lol, motherhood flex on a thousand. 💁🏾♀️ pic.twitter.com/ubmj271gEv
— Saloan (@QueenLoany) October 2, 2019
Seriously Nike? Women aren’t made of elastic, it takes a lil longer that just a few weeks to get back to kicking butt at world championships. When rugby players destroy their ACL you certainly don’t expect them back in action winning games in less than six month. It just doesn’t work like that. But again, how come we didn’t really know about the lack of income protection for female athletes wanting to have kids?
Luckily more brands are waking up to the fact that women should be able to have a career and start a fam if they want to. Felix became the first athlete to be sponsored by Athleta and praise the Lord, they actually support women in sport and their goals, whatever they may be.
And She’s Not The Only Lady Smashing Some Major Records
But it’s not just Allyson Felix. Women absolutely killing the game in sport so rarely seem to make it beyond an article or two buried in the sport section, let alone the struggles they’ve faced getting there and continue to overcome.
In Australia, we’ve had the world record for the highest score in women’s T20 cricket broken by Alyssa Healy recently. USA’s football team broke three records in the World Cup this year, with Brazilian player Marta Vieira da Silva breaking the all-time record for goals scored across both men’s and women’s comps. Simone Biles literally just earned her 21st world champ medal today, leading the US gymnastics team to five gold medal wins.
As a young woman, it’d be awesome to see the ladies getting just as much coverage and hype as the dudes. We’re defs heading in the right direction – the Womens FIFA World Cup broke records for the number of viewers tuning in, for example.
It would be just rad to see elite sport governing bodies recognising the goals women have both on the field and off it, supporting them rather than making them near impossible. Like come on, it’s 2019.