A number of sports stars have paid tribute to American sprinter Allyson Felix, who has announced she will retire at the end of this season.
Felix, the most decorated female track and field Olympian of all time, announced her retirement on Instagram.
She is set to end an illustrious career which includes seven Olympic gold medals and 13 world titles.
“As a little girl they called chicken legs, never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined I’d have a career like this,” she said.
“I have so much gratitude for this sport that has changed my life. I have given everything I have to running and for the first time I’m not sure if I have anything left to give.
“I want to say goodbye and thank you to the sport and people who have helped shape me the only way I know how—with one last run.
“This season isn’t about the time on the clock, it’s simply about joy. If you see me on the track this year I hope to share a moment, a memory and my appreciation with you.”
Felix has always stood up for women during her career, most notably taking on sponsor Nike over maternity pay in 2019.
She revealed the sports apparel company wanted to pay her 70 percent less after she became a mother, forcing the brand to change its stance.
Felix has also worked to highlight the issue of maternal mortality among black women, having given birth to her daughter by emergency Caesarean at 32 weeks after discovering she had pre-eclampsia.
“This season I’m running for women,” she said. “I’m running for a better future for my daughter. I’m running for you.
“More to come on that, so stay tuned, but I’ll be sharing a series of announcements that I’m hoping will make the world better for women. Here’s to my final season.”
A number of fellow sprinters have paid tribute to Felix, including British stars Dina Asher-Smith and Biana Williams.
The former, the reigning world champion in the 200m, posted a number of love heart emojis under Felix’s post.
Olympic 100m and 200m champion Elaine Thompson Herah was another to comment on the post, alongside rival sprinter Shelly- Ann Fraser-Pryce.
Basketball star Candace Parker, a two-time WNBA and Olympic champion, also responded to the post with love hearts.
During her career, Felix gradually transitioned from the 200m to the 400m. In the shorter distance, she was the London 2012 Olympic champion and a three-time world champion.
Over the longer distance, Felix was a world champion in 2015. She also won four Olympic gold medals in the 4×400m relay and and two in the 4×100m relay.