View this post on Instagram A post shared by Allyson Felix (@allysonfelix)
Allyson Felix just shared a powerful image. At first glance, the black-and-white photo shows the Olympic athlete wearing more than a handful of medals, but a closer look reveal a scar on the track-and-field star’s abdomen. It’s a C-section scar from the 2018 emergency delivery of her now two-year-old daughter Camryn.
She first debuted the photo on Instagram back in June, when she announced her new company Saysh, a community-centered lifestyle brand that creates products for, and by, women. She shared the image – along with a companion video – again on Friday, shortly after she became the most decorated women in Olympic track and field history after winning bronze in the 400-meter dash, her 10th Olympic medal.
“I KNOW MY PLACE,” she wrote in the Instagram post. “And it’s in my own shoes.”
She, of course, was referring to the pale blue Saysh running shoes she wore during her race.
“Like so many of us, I was told to know my place, but here I am, ready to run for a brand that I founded,” she said in the video, that zoomed in on her medals – and her cesarean scar.
Felix has spoken out about her pregnancy and birth experience, including, for example, how she had to “train at 4:30 a.m.” while she was five months pregnant to hide her pregnancy from her sponsor at the time. On top of that, she had preeclampsia and had to deliver via emergency C-section at 32 weeks. Her newborn weighed just 3 pounds, 8 ounces and spent a month in neonatal intensive care.
In a Passionate Letter, Allyson Felix Shows Her Daughter – and the World – What a Strong Mama Looks Like
“All of my experience of becoming a mom, of raising a daughter, helped show me my true competitor: inequality,” she said. “Here I am, using my voice to create change for us as women and for us as mothers and for all the women who want to be mothers.”
In an earlier announcement, she acknowledged that “the world doesn’t need more shoes,” but what the world does need? “To see women wholly and meet them right where they are,” she wrote. “I hope I’m able to leave this sport better than I found it and this world better than when I entered it.”