“You Have to Use Your Voice”: Allyson Felix Reveals the Mindset She Had Against Nike

Published 10/06/2021, 12:14 PM EDT
PARIS, FRANCE – AUGUST 28: Allyson Felix of USA during the Women’s 400m of the 2021 Meeting of Paris Wanda Diamond League at Stade Charlety on August 28, 2021 in Paris, France. (Photo by John Berry/Getty Images )


While Usain Bolt is the king of men’s track and field events, American sprinter Allyson Felix is the queen. Remarkably, Felix became the most decorated American sprinter, surpassing the legendary Carl Lewis.

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Allyson bagged 11 Olympic medals in her eventful sprinting career. However, while the ride looks smooth from the outside, Felix had to overcome unimaginable trials to reach the heights she is at today.

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Allyson Felix called quits with Nike

Felix made her first Olympic appearance in 2004, and since then, she has only wowed fans with her performance on the field. However, her Tokyo Olympics 2020 appearance was impactful. Her showdown in Japan was the first time she competed, after becoming a mother in 2018. Notably, with conflicts and controversies, Felix had a difficult pregnancy.

Notably, in times when she needed support, she faced contractual issues with Nike. The celebrity brand decided to cut Allyson’s pay by 70%, citing her pregnancy as the reason. However, it was then that Felix took the daring step of calling it quits with the multinational brand.

EUGENE, OREGON – JUNE 20: Allyson Felix celebrates with her daughter Camryn after finishing second in the Women’s 400 Meters Final on day three of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials at Hayward Field on June 20, 2021 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

In conversation with Forbes, she opened up about what was her inspiration to take the step. Felix said. “I think one of the lessons that I really learned is that you have to use your voice to do something about things. You have to move forward. And for the longest, there had been wishing for change in silence, and sitting back and saying, okay, well I’m sure somebody else is going to take on this fight.”

She further added, “But then realizing that, no I have a responsibility myself, I sit in a place where I have some privilege, and I have a platform and I need to do something with that.”

Jun 18, 2021; Eugene, OR, USA; Allyson Felix wins the women’s 400m in 50.99 during the US Olympic Team Trials at Hayward Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Felix creates history with her own shoe brand

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After ending her relationship with Nike, Felix started her own shoe brand called ‘Saysh’. Notably, she donned her brand while taking to the track at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, sending a statement to her haters. Commendably, the American star brought home two Olympic medals; she won a gold and a bronze.

TOKYO, JAPAN August 6: Allyson Felix of the United States after winning the bronze medal in the 400m for women making her the most decorated female olympic runner during the Track and Field competition at the Olympic Stadium at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games on August 6th, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

Allyson has set forward an example for the upcoming generation of sprinters, to prioritize their own value. Notably, her triumphant journey on the track, despite having a difficult time personally, is a testament to her character.

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DIVE DEEPER

Allyson Felix Reveals She Started Running as a Way to Make Friends in Childhood

23 days ago

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Shreya Verma

300 articles

Shreya Verma is a sports writer at EssentiallySports. A post graduation student in political science, Shreya is also a professional 10m air pistol shooter. As her father was an athlete, she was naturally inclined towards the athletic life.

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