My daughter recently interviewed four-time Olympian Allyson Felix on her Olympic journey, faith, candy, and crying after races. Unfortunately my 4-year-old son deleted the pictures from the interview, but we still have Ms. Felix’s thoughtful answers to my daughter’s probing questions.
“MD” stands for “My Daughter” and “AF” stands for Allyson Felix.
MD: How long have you been racing?
AF: I’ve been doing this for years. This is probably 12 years of being a professional.
MD: Who was your hero growing up?
AF: My hero growing up was probably my mom or dad. They were really good examples to me and people that I saw every day. Yeah, definitely them.
MD: Who had the biggest influence on your career?
AF: The biggest influence on my career was Jackie Joyner Kersey. She is this amazing athlete, but also a neat person. And she has been really nice to me and she is someone that I can call on the phone or text and ask for advice or help, so she probably had the biggest influence on me.
MD: How do you pursue your dreams without stopping?
AF: I think there is always something that has gotten in the way, like injuries or just bad practices or losing races, but I always make sure to go back to my goals and I have felt like if I wanted it really bad, than I need to keep working and always go towards my goals.
MD: When did you start running track?
AF: I started running track when I was 14-years-old when I was in the 9th grade.
MD: Do you get nervous before a race?
AF: I do get nervous before races. I pretty much get nervous before every race. I think if I didn’t get nervous it would probably be weird.
MD: How long will you compete?
AF: I don’t know how long I’m going to compete. I know that I’m going to run this Olympics and I just want to see if each year is going good and I still love the sport, then I’m going to keep running. And if I don’t, then I’ll stop.
MD: Do you think you can become the fastest woman in the world?
AF: I hope so. (Laughing) That’s my plan. When I go into every race I always want to win and always want to be the fastest. I think it would be cool to be the fastest woman in the whole wide world.
MD: Will you be in the next Olympics too?
AF: I hope so. Our Olympic trials are in July and Olympics are in August. In my race, you have to be the first three. So that’s my plan and that’s what I have to do. If everything goes according to schedule, then yes, I’ll be there.
MD: Will you keep running even if you don’t win?
AF: Yes, I will. For me it’s sad when I don’t win races, but it happens. You can’t win every single race and in some races you use to work on things. So yeah, I may win the next one.
MD: My brother wanted me to ask this one: When did you realize you wanted to be a runner and how did you get better at it?
AF: That’s a good one. I always knew I was kind of fast because in our neighborhood I would run around and stuff and I would always be the one who would beat the boys. So I knew I was kind of good, but I didn’t go out for the track team until high school. And then when I was a senior, I realized that this is my thing. And how did I get better? I started making sacrifices. I started playing basketball and then I focused on track after that and that really helped me to get better.
MD: How did your parents influence your career?
AF: They supported me so much. I would have meets in all these places and they would always be there. If races didn’t go well, they would be there. They would help me; encourage me and they traveled all over the world to see me run. They’ve been there if I’ve lost, if I won. They were always there to support me.
MD: What is your favorite candy and do you have a candy stash?
AF: That’s a good question. Yes, I think candy stashes are really important. My favorite candy is Twix. Do you like Twix?
AF: What’s your favorite?
MD: Reeces Pieces.
AF: Mmm, I like those too. That has to be one of my favorites as well. I try not to have too much, but it’s always nice to have a stash.
MD: Have you ever cried after a race?
AF: I have cried after a race. There was this really big race at the Olympics and everyone thought I was going to win it and was the favorite going in. I felt really good about everything and then I didn’t win and I was so sad and I did cry. But my family helped me put everything back into perspective and they encouraged me and I was able to pick up the pieces and keep going and wipe my tears and get back to practice.
MD:What did it feel like to win an Olympic gold medal?
AF: It felt amazing because I had a lot of those races where I was crying and things weren’t going well and then finally this one, everything was perfect. And to get that gold medal is so special. It’s hard to explain how it felt, but it was pretty cool.
MD: I read that you are a Christian. Do you have a favorite Bible Verse?
AF: I do. I love Philippians 1:21 and it has been my favorite for a long time and I also wear this cross that my mom gave me. I started wearing it on my first Olympics and it helps keep my faith in perspective and that it is bigger than just running and winning.
You can cheer on Ms. Felix this August during the Olympics. My daughter will be on the edge of her seat as she yells for her new favorite Olympian.
Thank you to Bounty for setting this interview up between Ms. Felix and my daughter. Bounty is offering to donate $1 for every quicker-picker tip tweeted with the hashtag #quicktip to the P&G Team USA Youth Sports Fund. Bounty will share their favorite tips during the Olympics on their social media channels.
Go Allyson and Go USA!
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