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Allyson Felix, the most decorated track athlete of all time, will retire after 2022 season

The seven-time Olympic gold medalist plans to make her final track and field season a meaningful one.

The finish line is in sight for Allyson Felix.

After more than 20 years of sprinting her way to success, the most decorated American athlete in Olympic track and field history has announced that she plans to hang up her running shoes after the 2022 season.

“As a little girl they called chicken legs, never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined I’d have a career like this,” Felix wrote in a heartfelt message she shared with her fans and followers on Instagram Wednesday. “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.”

Athletics - Olympics: Day 12
Allyson Felix of Team USA competes in the Women's 400m Semi-Final during the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.Christian Petersen / Getty Images

And what’s she’s already given has made an indelible mark on her sport.

Over the course of five Olympic Games, Felix has earned 11 medals — including seven gold medals — and she holds the record for the most gold medals ever won in the track and field world championships with another 13 awards. 

The Olympic Games-Tokyo 2020
Allyson Felix of the United States with her gold medal after the her team won the 4x 400m relay final. Tim Clayton / Corbis via Getty Images

With that latter feat, she surpassed Usain Bolt’s record for the most world championship titles in the sport.But according to the 36-year-old sprinting sensation, as she approaches the final stretch of her career, it's not about medals or records anymore.

“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,” she continued. “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, who also became an off-track champion for pregnant athletes back in 2019, when she took on former sponsor Nike over postpartum pay cuts, explained that her 2022 season will be dedicated to all women. 

"This season I’m running for women," she wrote. "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."

She added, "Here’s to my final season✨."