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Athlete Allyson Felix launches new footwear brand after challenges with NIKE over pregnancy

Posted: Saturday, August 20, 2022. 2:15 pm CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: Star track and field athlete, Allyson Felix told HuffPost about the challenges during her pregnancy and with the sponsorship of NIKE during that same period.

During her pregnancy, Felix was diagnosed with severe preeclampsia, a condition characterized by high blood pressure in pregnancy.

“Being a professional athlete, honestly, I took my health for granted. In my mind, I wanted to have this beautiful natural birth,” Felix said.

Felix had to deliver prematurely at 32 weeks via emergency C-section.

Felix and Camryn spend the first weeks of her life in the NICU.

 “Things that once were really simple, really easy for me were really challenging. I would say it’s probably a year and a half until I saw glimpses of who I was before. And then understanding that I don’t have to be that exact same person like I am. And strong looks a lot of different ways,” she added.

Felix found that she still had the same competitiveness, but, as a mother, her motivation had shifted.

“I felt like people were telling me that I couldn’t have both of these things. But it was that drive to show [Camryn] that no one can put limits on your life, and you can absolutely do everything that you want to do,” she said.

In 2019, she published an Op-Ed on the New York Times revealing that NIKE wanted to reduce her pay by 70% in the contract she was trying to negotiate after becoming a mother.

Last year, Felix started her own footwear company, Saysh, winning 2 medals in the Tokyo Olympics wearing her own shoe brand.


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