For the first time since giving birth on Nov. 28, six-time Olympic champion Allyson Felix will return to the track to race.
Felix, 33, is expected to start her 2019 outdoor campaign with the first round of the women's 400 meters at the 2019 USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships on Thursday in Des Moines. The race will be her first meet in 13 months since having her daughter Camryn via emergency C-section at 32 weeks after a checkup showed problems with her daughter's heartbeat.
"This year will be good to get momentum going, to get back and see," Felix said in May, per NBC Sports. "Then next year I’ll be able to have a better idea."
In a story for espnW published in December, Felix revealed that both her life and her daughter's lives were endangered during the process. Camryn stayed in the newborn intensive care unit for over a month. Felix testified at the House Ways & Means Committee’s hearing on overcoming racial disparities and social determinants in the maternal mortality crisis in May. Her appearance in Washington, D.C. came just days after she was part of a New York Times op-ed where she revealed that her contract talks with Nike came to a "standstill" after she asked Nike to guarantee she wouldn't be punished for not performing her best in the months following childbirth. Felix was among several high profile Olympians that spoke out against the sportswear giant and led to a policy change by several sponsors.
Already the most decorated woman in Olympic track and field history, Felix says she plans to pursue a fifth Olympic Games in 2020. She sprinted her way to three medals (two golds and one silver) at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Felix will need to finish in the top six this year to make her ninth straight world championships team and get on the 4x400 meter relay. If she wants to compete as an individual in the 400 meters, she would need to finish in the top three.
Besides her six Olympic gold medals, and three more silver medals, Felix is an 11-time world champion and 16-time world medalist. She competed in her first outdoor world championship in 2003 and has made every U.S. national team for a global championship ever since.
At the 2017 world championships in London, Felix took bronze in the 400 meters and was a member of the gold medal-winning 4x100 and 4x400-meter relay team. This year's world championships will take place from Sept. 27 to Oct. 6 in Doha, Qatar. This year's fastest 400-meter time of 49.05 is held by Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas, who famously dove at the finish line of the 2016 Olympics and beat Felix for gold. The time is .17 seconds faster than Felix's 49.26 personal best that won her gold at the 2015 world championships in Beijing.