As It Should Be: USC Renames Track And Field Home After Olympian Allyson Felix

As It Should Be: USC Renames Track And Field Home After Olympian Allyson Felix

Allyson Felix may have officially retired from track and field but what she accomplished will live on forever, especially at her alma mater, University of Southern California.

Felix, the most decorated female track and field athlete in Olympic history, was overcome with joy at the official renaming ceremony earlier this week.

“I hope that students, athletes come to this field and they come at the beginning of their journey and they experience something like I did — getting a foundation, being prepared to face the world,” she said.

The Los Angeles native’s career is unparalleled. Felix, who competed in 100-meter, 200-meter and 400-meter races in five Olympics between 2004 and 2020, won seven gold medals, three silvers and a bronze. She won at least one medal in each of her five appearances.

In the 2020 Olympics, her last, at age 34, she won a bronze medal in the 400-meter and a gold in the 4 x 400 meter team competition. It was her medal in 4x 400 that put her ahead of track legend Carl Lewis as the most decorated track and field athlete.

Felix also holds the record in World Championships. She won 20 medals between 2005 and 2022, including 14 golds. The medals include seven from individual events and 13 from team relays. ”

We’re incredibly honored and excited to recognize one of our greatest ambassadors and the most decorated U.S. track and field athlete of all time,” USC Athletic Director Mike Bohn said.

Though her talent as an athlete is well-documented, it is what she’s done off the field for women’s sports that truly sets her apart from the rest.

She famously took on Nike when the company refused to provide adequate maternity benefits and salary guarantees in the wake of her wanting to start a family with husband, fellow athleteKenneth Ferguson. She gave birth in 2018 and returned to dominance less than two years later.

Felix said the renaming was a truly special moment for her because the honor is usually reserved for those providing substantial financial donations.

“To have discussions about the renaming [of the track] because of my character, my integrity, and for fighting for women is something that doesn’t happen,” she said, according to USC News. “It just really shows what USC values. I feel proud of the things that I’ve stood for, and it makes me proud to be an alumna because of the direction that the school is going.”