Five-time Olympian Allyson Felix, one of the most decorated female sprinters in track and field history, has made it to the women's 400-meter race semifinals in the Tokyo Olympics.
According to ESPN, Felix, who is representing the United States, completed the 400-meter heat in 50.84 seconds on Monday. Felix is a nine-time Olympic medalist, with six gold medals and three silver medals. She hopes to clinch a seventh gold medal in this Wednesday's semifinals.
"It might sound cliche, but getting to that starting line is an incredible victory for me. I've experienced the hardest years of my life in this journey, and by God's grace, I'm here," she wrote on Sunday.
In a 2016 interview with the Los Angeles Times, Felix shared that her Christian faith is the driving force in her life and her reason for running.
"Faith leads my life," she said at the time. "I definitely feel like I've been blessed with this gift, and so that's something that helps me to see the bigger picture. It's so easy to get caught up in winning everything and just the kind of the grind of what professional sports is, but it definitely helps me to kind of pull back and see that there's a greater purpose."
Felix, 35, began running during her freshman year in high school. She had initially planned to become an elementary teacher, but God had a different plan in her life.
"I never expected to be a professional athlete," Felix told Fellowship of Christian Athletes. "I had to really trust him and his plan for my life. We always have our own idea of how our life is going to go, but we really have to follow the Lord's will."
Felix, who has competed in the past five Olympics, including the Tokyo Games, cited her parents as role models for faith and perseverance. Her father, Dr. Paul Felix, pastors Fairview Heights in Inglewood, California. Her mother, Marlean Felix, is an elementary school teacher.
"Our family was very involved in our church. I am so blessed to have my family and the upbringing that I did," Felix explained. "It means so much to me to have two very godly parents who both have so much wisdom. They are amazing role models that I have had the privilege to watch as I grew up."
Felix is married to Kenneth Ferguson, a former sprinter and hurdler. They have a daughter, Camryn.
In a recent interview with USA Today, Felix shared that this will be her last Olympics, as she plans to retire before the 2024 Games in Paris.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Michael Steele/Staff
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.