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Allyson Felix Talks Olympics 2021, Naomi Osaka, and ‘Taking Space’ as a Black Female Athlete

Allyson Felix often is the most embellished US Olympian in ladies’s observe and subject historical past, however the six-time gold medalist desires her legacy to transcend her {hardware}. Just forward of the Tokyo Olympics, Felix is starring in Pantene’s new What’s Your Legacy marketing campaign to share extra of her life as an activist and mom to her 2-year-old daughter, Camryn.

“I feel humbled and proud to be a part of the What’s Your Legacy campaign,” Felix instructed ELLE.com over Zoom. “I love that they’re highlighting that my legacy is more than just what I’ve done on the track. It is about speaking up and using my voice, and also this heritage with my daughter and how I’ll pass that down to her.” For Felix, this additionally contains magnificence traditions. “Growing up, it was really special when my mom used to do my hair. It was this time where we got to bond and spend time together. And so now as I start to do my daughter Cammy’s hair, we get to pass down this tradition,” she provides.

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Ahead, Felix talks about her new partnership with Pantene, the upcoming Olympics, and why she’s “really proud” of Naomi Osaka for standing up for feminine athletes and psychological well being.

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Do you keep in mind if you first began utilizing Pantene?

When I used to be youthful, we did someplace alongside the way in which. Still, when the Gold Series got here out, it was this re-introduction and a product made by Black scientists and perfected by Black stylists. Being in a position to put on my hair in its pure state or nevertheless I need to put on it. To have the ability to have these merchandise that assist my hair keep wholesome and in a position to handle it has been particular.

What was your response if you came upon the Olympics had been going to be postponed?

I used to be devastated. I imply, as an athlete, all the things is nearly timing, and it is so strategic. For me, I used to be like, oh my gosh, I’m going to be a year older. I used to be prepared now. I simply needed to take the space to form of grieve it and be like, okay, it is not going to appear to be what I imagined. Once I gave myself that point, I used to be like, okay, I’ve obtained to select myself up and pivot and determine how you can proceed. It was a tough time as soon as I heard the information.

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How has your coaching for this Olympics differed from earlier years?

I continued coaching in the end all through [lockdown]. I did exercises in my neighborhood, actually on the streets in entrance of my residence and on the park or an remoted soccer subject. Since I’ve a lot expertise and I’m older, I’ve simply needed to be smarter, practice wiser, and give myself recovery with all the extraordinary exercises. It’s nonetheless the identical depth. I really feel like I’ve needed to tweak issues right here and there.

Do you could have any personal or skilled objectives for this Olympics?

Every Olympics I am going to I might love to return away with gold medals. That is unquestionably my objective. But I might additionally say this one is rather more than simply competing. It’s about simply getting there for me. It’s about telling my daughter these tales of overcoming adversity, these loopy final couple of years, and what it means to be a fighter and not surrender when issues get laborious.

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Can you stroll me by means of your magnificence routine and how that matches into coaching?

As a skilled athlete, it is a fairly wholesome life-style. I’m coaching daily, and that has helped me with my wellness. Then magnificence, I’m coaching outdoors within the solar just about daily. I’m actually concerning the well being of my pores and skin. I like the SK-II cleanser, and I take advantage of that and then Olay moisturizer with SPF. Depending on what I’m doing, I’d placed on make-up if I’m going out with mates.

Do you could have any recommendation for different working mothers throughout this actually bizarre time?

Be variety to your self. I believe we’re all attempting to determine it out, and I’ve needed to give myself grace by means of all of it. I really feel like there are days at work on the observe, I really feel like I’m thriving, and all the things’s clicking, and it is nice. And then I come residence, and I’m like, oh my gosh, I’m not doing as effectively as I need to do right here. I can not make dinner, or my daughter is up all evening, and issues are simply chaotic. It’s simply leaning into your help system and realizing that daily is just not going to be nice. And that is okay.

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Mental well being has develop into a critical matter in sports activities, significantly for feminine athletes. How do you are feeling about this dialog?

I believe it is so essential. I’m simply actually pleased with Naomi Osaka and all the things that she stood up for. And I really feel like a lot of instances, ladies must advocate for themselves, and I do not assume they need to, however it’s one thing that we have needed to do. It’s such an essential dialog to have and holding authorities accountable. Sometimes issues are in place for therefore lengthy that we associate with them, and we’ve got to problem a few of these methods which were in play.

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How do you method your psychological well being as a Black feminine athlete?

I’ve to concentrate to what I want and take space once I want it, and perceive that I’m up towards a lot. There’s a lot of stress, and there are a lot of limitations to interrupt, and generally it may possibly simply really feel overwhelming. And I believe only for me, even simply acknowledging that, is one step. And saying that, generally I’ll have to take extra time to get by means of this or speak to somebody about it. Just realizing that’s a large a part of it.

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