Allyson Felix, a multi-Olympic medalist, is an inspiration to all athletes and women alike. This Oracle reporter recently had the opportunity to interview her about her career and accomplishments.
When Felix was 17, her speed helped her become the first female track athlete to turn pro out of high school. She has a professional contract with Adidas and has won medals in the Olympic games in Athens (2004), Beijing (2008) and in London this past summer. In the recent Olympics in London, she won three gold medals —one of the medals being her first personal Gold medal in the 200 meter race —the most any female track athelete has won since 1988. Below, Felix answers questions about her track career and her inspirations.
Q: What was your initial feeling when you realized that you won your first personal Olympic Gold medal after the 200-meter race?
AF: I was elated. I had a mixture of joy and relief. I had worked so hard for so long, previously coming up short twice, so that made my victory all the more special.
Q: What is your favorite work out music?
AF: I love working out to anything upbeat that can put me into my zone. I’m a big fan of Jay Z and Beyoncé and I’m always listening to them before I race.
Q: Training as an Olympian takes a lot of dedication and hard work. What motivates you to keep training? Have you ever felt that you wanted to just give up running and if so what pushed you to overcome this feeling?
AF: I definitely have gone through slumps. In 2008, I won my second silver medal and although it was still a great accomplishment, I was devastated. I felt like I had worked so hard and sacrificed so much that I didn’t know what more I could do in order to win. I became extremely frustrated and wasn’t sure if I could continue on. My family, friends and coaches helped me to put everything in perspective and continue to train to reach my ultimate goal.
Q: Even though you probably have to maintain a strict diet what is your favorite indulgence?
AF: I love Ben and Jerry’s Oatmeal Cookie Chunk ice cream. It’s amazing!
Q: Did you have any role models who inspired you when you were young?
AF: I’m a huge sports fan and I looked up to Michael Jordan growing up. My family was also a huge inspiration to me because they taught me what hard work really meant. Jackie Joyner Kersee is also one of my mentors and someone I would love to be like.
Q: Was winning an Olympic medal always a dream for you? When did you realize that you had a shot at becoming an Olympian?
AF: Being an Olympian was not always my dream. I grew up wanting to become an elementary school teacher. I didn’t start running track until my freshmen year in high school and my Olympic dreams began when I was 16 years old.
Q: Do you still feel nervous before races? Do you have a mantra or ritual that you use before a race to push you through your nerves? Good luck charm?
AF: I’m always nervous before I race. If I weren’t it would feel so strange. I love to think about Steve Prefontaine’s quote, “To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift” before I run. This quote helps me to think about taking advantage of the moment and not letting it pass me by. I always race in my diamond necklace cross that was a gift from my mom.
Q: If you had one piece of advice for young women pursuing their dreams what would you say?
AF: I would tell them to have a plan, which includes a back up plan. Realize that accomplishing your goal is a journey and embrace it. Always enjoy the moment and the process of getting to where you want to go.
Featured Image Source: RyanSeacrest.com