‘They want to see the medal’: Felix toting gold
Allyson Felix reached into her purse and pulled out a black box
that she opened gingerly, revealing the Olympic gold medal from the
200 meters she worried might never be hers.
Now it is.
”No one wants to just see me anymore. They want to see the
medal,” the American sprinter said in an interview with The
Associated Press on Friday, several hours before heading to Olympic
Stadium and winning a second gold with a world record in the
Felix knows exactly where her new prizes will reside once she
gets back to California: her parents’ home, where all her other
medals are, including the two silvers from the 200 in Athens and
”They like to brag,” Felix said, chuckling and rolling her
eyes. ”And when people come over, (the medals) somehow fall into
their laps. They have fun with that stuff.”
If all goes to plan, Felix will be able to add to the collection
at Mom and Dad’s place. That’s because she will get a shot at a
third 2012 gold in the 4×400 relay on Saturday – and because Felix
figures she has one more Summer Games in her.
She’s also sure she can continue to improve.
What’s far too soon to tell: whether she’ll try a 100-200 or
200-400 double in Rio de Janeiro four years from now.
Felix thinks she can ”be in the mix” for the 100 and has
”potential” for the 400, too.
”I don’t know which way it’ll go, but the 100 is kind of where
my heart is,” said Felix, who was fifth in the dash final last
”I still think I can go faster,” she said.
What she’s thrilled about for now is finally getting the gold
she always wanted.
According to USA Track and Field, Felix is the most decorated
woman in 200-meter history, with seven Olympic and world
championship medals at the distance – four of them gold.
Until Wednesday’s victory, though, the golds all had come at
She grew concerned about whether it would ever happen at an
”I definitely got discouraged, frustrated along the way to
trying to get this gold medal. I felt like I was so close so many
times and so good in the off-years, and you just kind of wonder why
everything doesn’t come together at the right time,” Felix said.
”I definitely had days where I wondered: Would I ever get to this
With that gold comes a fresh opportunity to try to help increase
track and field’s profile in the U.S.
Felix accepts that role.
”The sport is doing OK in the States. Obviously, we’re
competing against other sports we really don’t have a shot with. I
would love for it to be on the forefront in America, but where
we’re at right now, we’re not there,” Felix said. ”I do feel a
responsibility to try to do the most that I can do to try to propel
it, but it’s just kind of where it is now.”
One athlete she believes will help boost track and field’s
appeal is Usain Bolt, the sprinter who is the only man with golds
from the 100 and 200 at two Olympics.
Felix watched on TV as Bolt won the 200 on Thursday in 19.32
seconds, a night after she ran 21.88.
”To see what he’s doing and the way that he’s doing it, with
his personality, it’s fascinating to watch,” she said.
”It’s hard to argue that he isn’t a ‘living legend,”’ Felix
continued, echoing the phrase Bolt uses to describe himself. ”I
mean, the things that he’s doing, and the times that he’s running,
it would be very hard to say that he isn’t. He definitely puts on a
As impressed as she is by Bolt’s running, she enjoys his pre-
and postrace antics, too.
The royal wave he debuted Thursday. The kidding around with
Olympics volunteers before settling into the starting blocks. The
five pushups he did after winning the 200 – one for each of his
Olympic golds. The way he grabbed a camera from a photographer and
No way Felix could do that sort of thing.
”Any little thing puts me off. I’m just amazed and want to know
how can he be everywhere and still get the job done. But he’s just
that good,” she said. ”For me, right before a race, I have to be
tuned in to what I’m doing. I have to be going through the race in
my mind. I have to be dialed in to what I have to be doing here and
here and here. That’s where my focus is. I can’t imagine dancing
around and still being able to do that. But he gets it done.”
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