Olympic Sprinter Allyson Felix to Give 20 Athletes $10,000 Each For Childcare As They Compete This Year
Allyson Felix is the most decorated track and field star in Olympic history, but now she’s getting saluted for another reason. She has launched a fund that will provide fellow athletes with $10,000 each for childcare while they compete this year.
Allyson Felix, who has garnered six Olympic gold medals and 11 world championship titles, announced the fund, which totals $200,000, in partnership with Athleta and the Women’s Sports Foundation, which will distribute the money.
Nine athletes have been selected so far including Olympic hammer thrower Gwen Berry and Olympic saber fencer Mariel Zagunis.
The generous move comes after Allyson Felix called out Nike for allegedly reducing female athletes’ pay when they were pregnant. She alleged in a New York Times op-ed that when she asked the athleisure giant for a guarantee that her income wouldn’t be lowered if she didn’t deliver her best performance after having a child, Nike went radio silent on contract negotiations.
She said in an interview with Fast Company,“One of my first races back after giving birth to my daughter, Camryn, was the World Championships. Not only was I still breastfeeding and physically and mentally exhausted from being a first-time mom while training and competing — I was assigned a roommate at the competition. There was no way I could bring my daughter into a shared room with another athlete who is trying to get in her zone.”
She later landed a deal with Athleta and saluted the company for understanding “that I am a whole person beyond the track.”
She added, “They jumped right in to support my training as well as my passions and advocacy platforms. In fact, part of my contract with Athleta includes provisions for Cammy to join me whenever I am competing.” Still, she launched her new program for the athletes that have difficulty finding similar support.
She said of the funding, “These grants are about showing the industry that all mom athletes need this same comprehensive support to be able to participate in their athletic endeavors.”