On Sunday, USA Olympic sprinter Felix broke Bolt’s record after winning her 12th gold medal at the World Championships on the mixed-gender 4x400m relay team.
Just ten months ago, Felix prematurely gave birth to her daughter, Camryn, after enduring a difficult pregnancy where she suffered from severe pre-eclampsia, a condition in pregnancy characterized by high blood pressure, sometimes with fluid retention and proteinuria.
While talking to ESPN in December, Felix told her birth story and talked about her struggle to keep up the image of a world class athlete in the midst of a pregnancy. She said,
“If I come back and I’m just not the same, if I can’t make a fifth Olympic team, I’m gonna know that I fought, that I was determined, and that I gave it my absolute all. And if it doesn’t end up the way I imagined in my head, it’ll be OK. I just have to go for it, because that’s just simply who we are now.”
She later opened up about her life as a mom and an athlete, saying that Nike offered to pay her 70 percent less while negotiating for a new contract, due to her decision to start a family.
Felix is one of the most decorated track and field athletes, who has won a combined nine medals between each of her four Olympic games. Six of the medals are gold.
Felix summed up her response to the honor in one word on Twitter: “Humbled.”