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Olympian Allyson Felix says she will retire after 2022 track and field season

Felix said on Instagram that this final season will be about joy and empowering women.
Image: Allyson Felix competes
Allyson Felix runs in the women's 4x400-meter relay final at the Beijing Summer Olympics on Aug. 23, 2008.Gabriel Bouys / AFP via Getty Images file
/ Source: NBC Sports

Allyson Felix said Wednesday that she will compete during the 2022 track and field season and then retire.

“I want to say goodbye and thank you to the sport and people who have helped shape me the only way I know how—with one last run,” she wrote on Instagram.

Felix, the most decorated U.S. athlete in Olympic track and field history, with 11 medals, had said that the Tokyo Games marked her last Olympic appearance but that she wasn’t sure whether she would compete through the 2022 season.

This year will mark the first time the world track and field championships will be held in the United States, with Eugene, Oregon, playing host from July 15 to 24.

Felix’s season is expected to begin no later than the Penn Relays, which are later this month.

Felix said in her announcement that this final season will be about joy — and empowering women. “This season I’m running for women. I’m running for a better future for my daughter,” she wrote.

In 2018, Felix gave birth to her daughter, Camryn. A severe case of pre-eclampsia resulted in an emergency cesarean section, and Cammy spent her first month in the neonatal intensive care unit. Felix went on to raise awareness about racial disparities in maternal mortality, testifying before Congress about her own experience. She also became a vocal advocate for better maternity protections in athletes’ contracts.

In October, Felix told NBC Sports’ On Her Turf that her long-term goals include ensuring that women feel empowered, supported and able to make family planning decisions without risking their athletic careers.

“I always felt like I had to accomplish so much before I could even have the thought,” Felix said of her decision to become a mom. “I don’t want other women to have that thought. If they want to wait, I think that’s amazing. But if they choose to have a child in the prime of their career, I think they should be able to be supported through that.”

In the lead-up to the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, Felix partnered with her sponsor, Athleta, and the Women’s Sports Foundation to create the “Power of She” fund to help female athletes pay for child care.