On the verge of competing in her fifth Olympic games in Tokyo this summer, 35-year-old Allyson Felix is helping other Olympic moms pay for child care, along with partner and sponsor Athleta and the Women's Sports Foundation.
The "Power of She Fund" child care grants will provide $200,000 to professional mom-athletes headed to Tokyo, according to Athleta. Each chosen athlete will receive $10,000 to "provide the resources and support that mom-athletes need to focus on excelling in their careers," the company wrote in their announcement. Athletes can apply until the end of August.
Athletes training for the Olympics must rely on outside income or corporate sponsors to cover the costs of training, qualifying for and attending the Olympic Games, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars. For those athletes without corporate sponsors, the price can be out of reach — especially with the added cost of child care.
Felix, the most decorated American female track-and-field Olympian in history, has long been an advocate for female athletes and mothers.
“As a mom and an athlete, I know first-hand the obstacles women face in sports,” Felix said in a news release. She noted that her Athleta contract includes provisions for her daughter Camryn, 2, to join her wherever she competes: "But not everyone has access to this type of support from a partner or sponsor. These grants are about showing the industry that all mom athletes need this same comprehensive support.”
"Break Records. Break Barriers. I'll always fight so she doesn't have to," Felix captioned a recent Instagram post featuring her holding hands with her daughter.
"Here I am, using my voice to create change for us as women, and for us as mothers, and for all the women who want to be mothers. So here I am, I know my place," she wrote in another post.
Nine athletes have already been chosen for the grant, including Paralympic volleyball player Lora Webster.
Webster, who has three children ages 5, 8, and 10, said in a news release, “This money has given us such a big breath of relief in the past few weeks."
“We don't have family nearby to help with the child care, so much of my training happens in our home with my kids acting as trainers," Webster said. "There have been many instances where we simply can't justify the cost of a babysitter on top of the cost of the gym and training site, so my training falls by the wayside.”
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