According to the New York Times, Felix qualified for next month’s Olympics in Tokyo by finishing second in the 400-meter finals at the Olympic trials, with a time of 50.02 seconds.
Felix began the race on the outside in lane eight; then she was in fourth place rounding the curve into the final homestretch, then passed two other competitors, booking her plane ticket to Tokyo.
The crowd at Hayward Field congratulated her in a standing ovation.
In Tokyo, she will race the 400 meters and possibly the relay teams for the women’s 4×400 and the mixed-gender 4×400, a new event.
She is also scheduled to run in the 200 meters at the trials, qualifying on Thursday.
In 2018, Felix gave birth to her daughter Camryn Grace. Felix was pregnant at the time of her contract renewal with Nike, which was less than ideal; maternity protections directly impacted the track star.
She shared her experience negotiating with the athletic brand in a 2019 New York Times op-ed.
“What I’m not willing to accept is the enduring status quo around maternity. I asked Nike to contractually guarantee that I wouldn’t be punished if I didn’t perform at my best in the months surrounding childbirth…,” Felix said at the time. “Nike declined. We’ve been at a standstill ever since.”
Two-year-old Camryn and Felix’s husband Kenneth Ferguson, a former hurdler and sprinter, were at Oregon’s Hayward Field to cheer her on during the Olympic Trials this weekend.
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“Man, it has been a fight to get here. And one thing I know how to do is fight, so I just wanted to do that all the way home,” Felix told NBC during an interview after the race.