Allyson Felix is the most decorated American female track-and-field Olympian of all time, but it's her title of mom that took center stage when the athlete announced her new lifestyle brand, Saysh.
At first glance, the black-and-white image shows 35-year-old Felix donning her Olympic medals, but a closer look reveals the athlete's C-section scar from the 2018 emergency delivery of her daughter with husband Kenneth Ferguson.
Felix suffered from preeclampsia during her pregnancy and Camryn was born via Caesarean section at 32 weeks, weighing just 3 pounds, 8 ounces.
"I never would have thought that using my voice would have led to NIKE changing their maternity policy for athletes and I definitely never would have thought it would lead to creating @bysaysh," Felix captioned the photo. "Keep going and keep speaking up, even if your voice shakes."
Felix says Saysh is products developed and designed "for and by women," including racing spikes and lifestyle sneakers.
"Please be clear. I used my voice and built this company for you. So that you never have to train at 4:30am while you’re 5 months pregnant to hide your pregnancy from your sponsor. So that you won’t have to fight someone so much bigger than you for a right that should be basic. I took that on for you, and I didn’t do it alone, but it was for you."
Before getting pregnant, Felix feared motherhood meant risking her career and has been vocal about the disparity in compensation for female athletes in the months surrounding childbirth by former sponsor, Nike.
In a new interview with TIME, the Olympian revealed the lasting impact of hiding her pregnancy.
“It was super isolating and very lonely,” Felix told TIME. “I think about that a lot. All of those things that you look forward to, those experiences of embracing that time, I didn’t get to do any of that. I don’t feel like I ever really was pregnant.”
Since the birth of her daughter, Felix has continued to advocate for better maternal care for Black mothers and will compete in her fifth Olympic Games when she takes the track in Tokyo.
“I am extremely proud to be an elite athlete and to have this legacy on the track, but it doesn’t stop there,” Felix told TODAY Parents in 2020. “I am more than a sprinter. More than an Olympian. I am a mom. If I can use my voice and platform to speak on the inequalities facing Black pregnant women and the Black maternal mortality rate, I absolutely will.”