Allyson Felix has made history at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. The 30-year-old won the silver medal in the 400-meter sprint and is now the most decorated woman in U.S. track and field history with a total of seven medals.
But it was a disappointing day Monday when she finished in a stunning battle on the track. The image of the photo finish showed Miller edging Felix, the most decorated woman in American track history, by half a body length — or a mere seven-hundredths of a second on the clock — with a winning time of 49.44 seconds to Felix’s 49.51. Shericka Jackson of Jamaica was third in 49.85.
After the race, you could visibly see Felix get choked up about the loss. She said she was “deeply disapointed” because she is “a competitor” in every since of the word.
But the loss is something she can’t focus on. Instead, she goes back to the reason why she’s running in the first place. The reason why she trained, sacrificed, made it to the olympics and made history: her faith.
“Last night didn’t end the way I had dreamed. I’m disappointed. I was quickly reminded of countless reasons to be proud, thankful and grateful. [Coach] Bobby [Kersee] told me this is the most proud he has ever been of me. That resonated with me. Everything went wrong this year, but some way I made it here and won a silver medal. I fought as hard as I could and gave my all. I’m most proud of never giving up on my dreams in the face of adversity. I’m extremely humbled to now be the most decorated female Olympian in USATF history. All glory to God!”
“Faith leads my life. That’s definitely the reason that I run. I definitely feel like I’ve been blessed with this gift, and so that’s something that helps me to see the bigger picture. It’s so easy to get caught up in winning everything and just the kind of the grind of what professional sports is, but it definitely helps me to kind of pull back and see that there’s a greater purpose. [Career down moments] are still difficult. I think a lot of times you want faith to kind of be the answer to everything, and it’s still a struggle to get there, you know? There are very real moments that are hard, but I think that it helps me to be able to learn the lesson that there is a purpose, a reason why maybe that happened, and it can create something in you and it might be preparing you for something better in the future.”
And preparation is something that Felix knows all about. Here, she describes how she prepares her body inside and out for the grueling it will take on the field.
“A few years ago, I got much more serious about my diet, and it’s made a big difference in the way I perform and the way I feel. I decided to get tested and see what my body was deficient in and what I could make up with nutrition. So now I have a kind of very planned-out system: I wake up. I usually start my day with Chobani yogurt (she is also sponsored by them).”
“For lunch I’ll have a salad with some type of protein in it. … And then my dinner is a bit bigger. I eat a lot of fish, some red meat, a lot of vegetables, brown rice. I try to keep everything pretty balanced. It’s important to make sure I have enough nutritious food to fuel me through the intense days.”
But, just like many of us, she keeps it real when it comes her cravings.
“Ice cream is my guilty pleasure. You can get so just tied up with trying to do everything right that you need to be able to reward yourself from time to time.”
When she thinks of combining diet and exercise to reach your goals, the olympian stresses that if you think of exercise as something that is fun, it’ll be easier to stick to than if you think of it as something you have to do. “Enjoy the process,” she says. “Keep your priorities straight and then go after them with a plan.” Felix suggests socializing your workouts by enlisting the help of a friend or two, and turning lunch dates or happy hours into workout sessions.
Allyson Felix, you’ll always be a true champion and number one to us, no matter what.
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