Allyson Felix Becomes Most Decorated Track Athlete in US History With 4x400m Gold

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVAugust 7, 2021

Allyson Felix, of United States, poses with her gold medal for the women's 4 x 400-meter relay at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Saturday, Aug. 7, 2021, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
AP Photo/Martin Meissner

Allyson Felix became the most decorated American Olympic track athlete Saturday by helping the Team USA women's 4x400-meter relay team win the gold medal at Japan's Olympic Stadium in Tokyo.

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THE MOST DECORATED AMERICAN TRACK AND FIELD OLYMPIAN EVER. ๐Ÿฅ‡๐Ÿฅˆ๐Ÿฅ‰<a href="https://twitter.com/allysonfelix?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@allysonfelix</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TokyoOlympics?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TokyoOlympics</a> <a href="https://t.co/clZUbEvPPo">pic.twitter.com/clZUbEvPPo</a>

Felix, whose 11th Olympic medal broke a tie with Carl Lewis, ran the second leg and kept the U.S. in front of the field with a 49.38-second split. Sydney McLaughlin, Dalilah Muhammad and Athing Mu ran the other legs as the Americans won the race by nearly four seconds.

"I just really came out at peace, and I wanted to soak it in completely," Felix told reporters.

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USA wins gold in the women's 4x400m relay ๐Ÿฅ‡<br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/NBCOlympics?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NBCOlympics</a>)<a href="https://t.co/vuV0nxbJPL">pic.twitter.com/vuV0nxbJPL</a>

The 35-year-old Los Angeles native won her first Olympic medal when she took the silver in the women's 200 meters at the 2004 Athens Games.

She won her first gold in the 4x400 and another silver in the 200 at the 2008 Beijing Games before dominating the 2012 Olympics in London and the 2016 Rio Games, winning five golds and a silver. She won bronze in the 400 on Friday.

Here's a look at the breakdown of her journey into American Olympic history:

2004: 1 silver

2008: 1 gold, 1 silver

2012: 3 golds

2016: 2 golds, 1 silver

2020: 1 gold, 1 bronze

Felix said before her arrival in Tokyo that this would be her final Olympics. She called it a "very challenging" decision in an interview with Eric Todisco and Russ Weakland of Hollywood Life in early July:

"It is the life that you have known and a lifestyle. For my case I have been doing this since I was a teenager and I think the real question is, 'Do you still have the passion and the love for it?' Does it actually still drive you every single day that you wake up? And for me that is the case and that is why I have been doing it for so long. Being capable to do it, and get to wake up to do what I absolutely love. But as things change it will be exciting to see what the next chapter will be."

She confirmed Saturday that plan hasn't changed while noting the different events she and her relay teammates specialize in (200 meters for Felix, 400-meter hurdles for McLaughlin and Muhammad and 800 meters for Mu).

"We all do different things, and it was really cool to come together to close out the Olympic Games, and for me, my Olympic career," Felix said.

Felix has also captured 18 medals (13 gold, three silver and two bronze) at the Outdoor World Championships.

Felix and Co.'s triumph in the 4x400 relay marked the United States' seventh straight Olympic win in the event, a streak that dates to the 1996 Games in Atlanta.