You would be forgiven if you didn’t realize that the World Athletics Championship, the global track and field competition, happened in Doha at the end of September. While many armchair fans only tune in to pay attention track and field every four years, these elite athletes certainly don’t stop working their hardest between Olympic games. But now, two of these athletes and moms are making headlines for their remarkable achievements in the championship.
Allyson Felix, an American track and field sprinter and Olympian, first made history on Sunday when she became the runner with the most gold medals in the championship’s history. She was formerly tied for the most gold medals with Usain Bolt, who had won eleven prior to his retirement. Felix clenched her twelfth gold in a mixed-gender 4×400 meter relay. An awesome achievement for anyone, but Felix’s achievement is made even more remarkable by the fact that she won it only 10 months after giving birth to her daughter, Camryn, via C-section.
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Felix also made headlines for being a mother and an athlete back in May when she wrote in The New York Times about Nike slashing her sponsorship money by 70% following her pregnancy. In July, Felix announced a new partnership with Athleta, where her role as a mother is front and center. “I’m excited also to start thinking about my legacy and what I want to leave behind,” she told SheKnows at the time. “I hope I can be an example to women — especially to women in sports — that they can do things differently than they’ve been done in the past.”
Soon after Felix’s gold medal-winning race, another mom made history. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, a sprinter and Olympian from Jamaica, became the oldest woman and first mom to win a world title in the 100-meter sprint. The 100-meter sprint is the shortest distance race, making it the race where athletes run the fastest. Winning the 100-meter sprint, therefore, has made Fraser-Pryce the fastest woman alive.
Shortly after winning the sprint, she was joined on the track by her two-year-old son, Zyon. As CNN reports, the only other runner who came close to challenging Fraser-Pryce was 23-year-old Dina Asher-Smith, from Great Britain. To give you a sense of how fast they were running, second place was fast enough for Asher-Smith to break the current British record but not beat Fraser-Pryce.
Fraser-Pryce is also thinking about what her legacy can mean for future generations of athletes. “I am even more grateful for those girls who will come after me or the women who are still holding their own and working on their greatness in their own way and never trying to be anyone but themselves,” she wrote on Instagram.
In addition to being role models for future athletes and moms, the two women are there for each other. Felix told NBC Sports that she has spoken a lot with Fraser-Pryce, and is in awe of her. “I mean, she’s better than ever. … She’s leading the way,” she said, before adding that Fraser-Pryce has also been encouraging her as she got back to running as well. Given the reception these women are getting after their historic wins, their cheering sections just got a whole lot bigger.