With 4 Games underneath her belt — and having simply certified for her fifth Olympics on the US trials on June 20 — Felix is an Olympic veteran used to pristine coaching circumstances. The final yr has been very completely different; she’s been coaching on empty soccer fields and seashores.
“Really simply having a stable place to prepare in, that is been the most important problem,” she says. “I by no means would have imagined that that might be the case main in the direction of Tokyo.”
There has been one upside to Felix’s new coaching amenities. For a seasoned sprinter used to coaching in a bunch, the sound of cheering onlookers watching her run by the streets of Los Angeles was a welcome antidote to pandemic-induced isolation.
“It was very nice as a result of I believe it has been a bit lonely through the pandemic,” she says. “My neighbors undoubtedly have a greater understanding of what I do now.”
A staff effort
Felix’s two-year-old daughter Camryn has additionally made a couple of appearances on the observe because the Olympian has juggled motherhood and coaching. “Having a younger daughter at house, that is a complete new world,” she says. “It’s given me a distinct motivation.”
Relying on the help of her household has been key to each Olympic journey, however particularly this one.
Her husband, Kenneth Ferguson, took go away from his job at Chrysler and the household moved to Los Angeles from Michigan so Felix may prepare together with her coach, Bob Kersee, forward of Tokyo 2020.
“It’s actually been a staff effort, we have been centered on the Olympics as a household objective, and so he is [Ferguson] been unbelievable.”
Juggling newfound parenthood with an unpredictable schedule can be taxing.
“None of these things occurs alone. There are so many individuals who pour into my life to be in a position to assist me to have this chance.”
Building her legacy
Thinking in regards to the sort of world she needs to elevate her daughter in has opened her eyes. “I’ve at all times had the need to win […] now it is actually about the way in which that I want to present her how to overcome adversity.”
She shared the significance of defining her legacy forward of Tokyo 2020. “I believe should you had requested me that query years in the past, it might have been information on the observe or how briskly I ran,” she tells CNN Sport. “But now I believe it is actually about having some affect on my sport.
“I actually want my legacy to be one of someone who fought for girls.”
Whether it be collaborating in Black Lives Matter protests, battling accidents or standing up for maternal protections in contracts, she’s proven that change would not occur in isolation.
“I hope to simply proceed to converse my fact and to get up for my neighborhood and get up for others who do not have a voice as loud.”
“It would have been superb to be in a position to shine a light-weight on some of these actually, actually essential points. It was a bit disappointing,” she says of the IOC’s resolution.
She cites Sydney McLaughlin, Simone Biles and Sha’Carri Richardson as fellow Black girls athletes whose social presence she admires.
“Simone is someone who I believe is so unbelievable, and he or she’s actually come into her personal. She has such a robust voice as effectively.
“My voice and athletes’ voices on the whole are so essential and so highly effective, and I believe we’re seeing that.”
An alternative to unify
Felix’s legacy is not the one one hooked up to her profession, she additionally stands within the shadow of some of the best athletes in Team USA’s historical past together with Carl Lewis, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Florence Griffith Joyner and Jesse Owens.
She is the one feminine observe and discipline athlete ever to win six Olympic gold medals and the one USA observe and discipline athlete, male or feminine, to win 13 gold medals on the world championships.
“Being anyplace within the sentence with Carl Lewis, that is one thing I by no means would have even imagined,” she says. “To me, it is all about simply making an attempt to make this fifth Olympic staff, with the way in which that the yr has been […] that might be such a victory.”
“Obviously as a competitor, we might love to compete in entrance of followers. But on the similar time, we perceive the state of affairs […] we’re prepared to adapt and pivot,” she provides. “In all of this we have seen folks expertise such loss and it actually makes me grateful for all that I’ve.
“I believe it hopefully will be a time of therapeutic and a time the place we actually unify.”