Allyson Felix
Allyson Felix

Rita Finkel and Jonathan Schindel, Co-Presidents of The Armory Foundation, are pleased to announce that living legend Allyson Felix will be this year’s recipient of The Armory Presidents’ Award during the 114th Millrose Games on Saturday, January 29th. This honour recognizes those who have made extraordinary contributions to both The Armory and to the sport of track and field as a whole.

“Allyson is such a perfect choice for this year’s award,” Finkel said. “On and off the track, she has shown the world courage, tenacity, and grace. The planet is a better, more equitable place for women because of her tireless efforts. We are delighted to have her join us this year for the Millrose Games.”

Felix is unquestionably one of the greatest track athletes who has ever lived. With seven gold medals and 11 total medals earned across five consecutive Olympic Games, Felix is the most decorated woman and American in Olympic track and field history. Felix has also won 13 gold medals and 18 total medals in her eight World Championship appearances, giving her the most medals in championship history, male or female. Felix’s 200m personal best of 21.69 is the seventh-fastest in history, and her relay split of 47.72 in the 4x400m relay at the 2015 World Championships is the third-fastest ever. In 2016, Felix won the 60m dash at the Millrose Games.

“The Armory is somewhere that has always been so special for me to compete at,” said Felix.

“The last time I competed, my daughter, Camryn was able to watch, and I can’t imagine a better last competition at The Armory. To be able to come back again and to be honoured with this award is such an incredible feeling and honour. I’m excited to see the amazing crowd and watch the incredible competition.”

Despite her monumental legacy in the sport, Felix’s activism off the track may prove to be even more impactful. In December 2018, Felix gave birth to her daughter Camryn. Shortly before childbirth, doctors discovered that Felix had pre-eclampsia, a potentially fatal blood pressure condition that disproportionately impacts Black women. After delivering her daughter via emergency C-section, Felix testified before the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee on the topic of the Black maternal mortality crisis.

The next year, Felix penned an op-ed for The New York Times accusing her athletic shoe sponsor of refusing to guarantee salary protections for athletes following childbirth, echoing similar allegations made by Kara Goucher and Alysia Montano. Felix ultimately became the first athlete to be sponsored by the apparel company Athleta. In June 2021, Felix launched Saysh, her own footwear company designed for women.

In many ways, the 2021 season may have been the most remarkable of Felix’s two-decade career. Despite juggling training with her new obligations as a mother and her outspoken advocacy for the Black Lives Matter movement, Felix placed second in the 400m at the Olympic Trials to qualify for her fifth Olympic Games. While many doubted that she would be a major factor in Tokyo due to her age, she shocked the world by earning the bronze medal. She then concluded her Olympic career in style, winning gold on the 4x400m relay alongside Sydney McLaughlin, Dalilah Muhammad and Athing Mu.

Felix continues to train for international competition but is secure in her legacy as one of the greatest and most inspiring athletes ever, not just in track and field but in any sport. There will never be another figure quite like Allyson Felix.

The ceremony to honour Felix will take place at 2:20 p.m. on the centre of the infield at the Millrose Games.

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