Allyson Felix

Allyson Felix

Allyson Felix (born November 18, 1985 in Los Angeles, California)cite web |url=|title=Athletes > Allyson Felix > Bio |author=MSN|accessdate=2008-08-27 |date=2008 |publisher=NBC Beijing Olympics 2008] is a track and field sprint athlete who competes internationally for the United States, primarily in the 200 meters. She is a two-time Olympic silver medalist and a two-time Athletics World Championship gold medalist in that event. She is also an Olympic gold medalist, winning gold at the Beijing 2008 Olympics as a member of the United States' Women's 4X400 meter relay team.

Early life

Felix, born and raised in Southern California, is a devout Christian and is the daughter of Paul an ordained minister and professor of New Testament at The Master's Seminary in Sun Valley, California, and Marlean who is an elementary school teacher.cite web |url=|title=Athletes > Allyson Felix > Bio |author=MSN|accessdate=2008-08-27 |date=2008 |publisher=NBC Beijing Olympics 2008] Felix sees her running ability as a gift from God, "My faith is the reason I run - it calms my heart and makes everything feel like a lift. My speed is definitely a gift from Him, and I run for His glory. Whatever I do, He allows me to do it."

High School

Felix attended Los Angeles Baptist high school in North Hills, California where she was nicknamed "Chicken Legs" by her teammates; because the five-foot-six, 125-pound sprinter's body had skinny legs despite her strength.cite web |url=|title=Athletes > Allyson Felix > Bio |author=MSN|accessdate=2008-08-27 |date=2008 |publisher=NBC Beijing Olympics 2008] But Allyson's slightness was at seeming odds with her speed on the track and strength in the gym, where, while still in high school, deadlifted at least 270 pounds. [cite web |url=|title=The Holy Grail in Speed Training|author=Barry Ross|publisher=Dragondoor]

Allyson didn't discover her gift until she tried out for track in the ninth grade. Just ten weeks after that first tryout, she finished seventh in the 200 at the state championships; in the coming seasons, she became a five-time California high school state champ. [ [ USA Track & Field bio > Allyson Felix] ] As a senior, Felix finished second in the 200 at the US Indoor Track & Field Championships. A few months later, in front of 50,000 fans in Mexico City, she ran 22.11 seconds, the fastest in history for a high school girl. [ [ Spikes, the new heroes of athletics | Athletes > Heroes > Allyson Felix] ]

Felix graduated in 2003, making headlines by foregoing college eligibility to sign a professional contract with Adidas. Adidas paid her an undisclosed sum and picked up her college tuition at the University of Southern California. [ USC OLYMPIANS: 1904-2004] , USC Trojans Athletic Department, Accessed August 26, 2008.] She has since graduated with a degree in elementary education. [ [ Sprinter Allyson Felix graduates to the big time] ]

Felix has also shown that she can overcome adversity. During her junior year of high school, she pulled a hamstring at the state championships and re-injured it a few weeks later at the US Junior National Championships. By the time she made it to the World Juniors in Jamaica, she had lost her edge and ended up in fifth place. News articles said Felix had choked, but she kept her head up. "That was an extremely hard time," she said. "I had to depend on God." [ [ The World's Fastest Teenager - Today's Christian] ]


At just 18, Felix finished as silver medalist in the 200 meters at the 2004 Summer Olympics, behind Veronica Campbell of Jamaica; in so doing, she set a World Junior record over 200 meters with her time of 22.18. Felix is coached by Bobby Kersee - husband & coach of Olympic champion and world record holding heptathlete, Jackie Joyner-Kersee.cite web |url=|title=Athletes > Allyson Felix > Bio |author=MSN|accessdate=2008-08-27 |date=2008 |publisher=NBC Beijing Olympics 2008]

Felix became the youngest ever gold medalist sprinter in the 200 meters at the World Championships in Helsinki in 2005 and then successfully defended her title at Osaka two years later. At Osaka, Felix caught Jamaican Veronica Campbell on the bend and surged down the straight to finish in 21.81 seconds, lowering her own season-leading time by a massive 0.37 seconds. After the final she stated that "I feel so good, I am so excited. I have been waiting for so long to run such a time, to run under 22 seconds. it has not been an easy road, but finally I managed," said Felix. At that time, she addressed her future, saying, "My next goal is not the world record, but a gold in Beijing. I want to take it step by step. I might consider to do both -- the 200 and the 400 meters -- there." In 2007, Felix became only the second female athlete; after Marita Koch in 1983 to win three gold medals at a single IAAF World Championships in Athletics. [ [ 2007 USOC Awards Announced] ] cite web |url=|title=Athletes > Allyson Felix > Bio |author=MSN|accessdate=2008-08-27 |date=2008 |publisher=NBC Beijing Olympics 2008]

Felix continues to lift and press heavy weights as part of her training routine. Currently Felix can leg press 700lbs despite her size.cite web |url=|title=Athletes > Allyson Felix > Bio |author=MSN|accessdate=2008-08-27 |date=2008 |publisher=NBC Beijing Olympics 2008]

Felix fully qualified for the 2008 Olympic Games during the 2008 Olympic trials in the 200 meter, but just missed qualifying for the 100 meter. However, at the 2008 Summer Olypmics in Beijing, despite running her season's best time in the 200 meters at 21.94, Felix again finished second to Campbell, who ran 21.74 to clinch the gold medal. Felix also ran the 400 meters, but only as a member of the U.S. women's relay team in that event. The team finished first, giving Felix her first Olympic gold medal.


Personal bests

* 100 meters - 10.93 2008 (WR 10.49)
* 200 meters - 21.81 2007 (WR 21.34)
* 300 meters - 36.33 2007 (indoors)
* 400 meters - 49.70 2007 (WR 47.60)


External links

* [ Official website]
* [ USA Track & Field - Allyson Felix]
* [ Allyson Felix Pictures]
*iaaf name|id=182528|name=Allyson Felix
* [ SPIKES Hero profile on]
* [ Allyson Felix's U.S. Olympic Team bio]
* [ Q&A]
* [ Bio in own words]
* [ 2007 interview]
* [,28804,1819129_1819134_1825313,00.html "Allyson Felix"] , n°6 on "Time"’s list of "100 Olympic Athletes To Watch"

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