Allyson Felix's journey from an athlete to entrepreneur

Allyson Felix, one of the most successful track and field Olympians in history, made headlines in 2019.Allyson Felix, one of the most successful track and field Olympians in history, rejected a contract proposal from Nike in 2019.

By Abhiruchi Rout | Mar 31, 2023 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Allyson Felix, one of the most successful track and field Olympians in history, made headlines in 2019. It wasn’t one of her athletics achievements but she publicly rejected a contract proposal from Nike. The contract would have reduced her compensation by 70% as a result of her pregnancy. Felix was frightened to come up, but when she did, women who had gone through similar experiences showered her with support. She eventually quit Nike. With the help of her brother Wes, started Saysh, a shoe brand that aimed to revolutionize the business and enhance circumstances for women, notably mothers and mother athletes. 

One example of Saysh’s support for women is the company’s maternity returns policy. Saysh provides a free pair of sneakers in a new size of their choice to every customer who becomes pregnant. “It is a small way to say to mothers, ‘We see you,” Allyson Felix says. She wishes to leave a legacy that includes standard childcare at competitions so that women do not have to choose between their sport and their families. Saysh was successful in introducing free childcare to national championships for all competitors, officials, and anybody else involved in the event over the previous season. Felix believes that this will eventually become the standard.

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Path has been difficult for Allyson Felix

It has been difficult to raise money for Saysh.  Only 2% of all venture capital funding goes to women. For women of color, the percentage is considerably lower. Felix wants Saysh to be a place where young women can develop their careers, but she has found that opportunities for women of color in fields like product development, engineering, and design aren’t as plentiful as they ought to be. Over time, Felix’s idea of success has evolved. Rather than focusing on winning and being the greatest, she now considers how many people she can touch and the impact she can have on their life when determining her success and impact. “It’s less about my personal goals and more so about trying to create change,” she said to Elle, the worldwide women’s magazine of French origin.

Allyson Felix is continuing her training and self-discovery even if she has decided not to compete any longer. She finds structure in going to workouts every day and feels more like herself during this transitional period even if it is strange to no longer do the thing she has loved for her entire life. Felix is not the only one standing up and changing the world. Serena Williams, Simone Biles, and Naomi Osaka are just a few of the Black women and female athletes who are making a difference in the world.

Read More-What is Simone Biles’ net worth, salary and brand endorsements?

Achievements of Allyson Felix

Allyson was born in Los Angeles, California on November 18, 1985. She attended California’s Los Angeles Baptist High School to complete her education. In the ninth grade, she discovered her love of running. She achieved success in the 200 meters by winning the World Championship from 2005 to 2009, two Olympic silver medals in 2004 and 2008, and the Olympic title in 2012.   She won four medals in a row (2008, 2012, 2016, and 2020) as well as two medals in the 4×100 meter relay, giving her a total of six Olympic gold medals. She is the most decorated female runner, having won 13 world championship medals and 9 Olympic medals.