Allyson Felix has partnered with her athletic brand sponsor, Athleta, to provide childcare stipends for athletes representing Team USA. Thus far, Athleta has committed to providing 20 grants of $10,000 each for a total of $200,000. Hammer thrower Gwen Berry, saber fencer Mariel Zugnis and volleyball player Lora Webster are among the first batch of athletes to receive support.
"These grants provide the resources and support that mom-athletes need to focus on excelling in their careers. As a mom and full-time professional athlete, Allyson is an advocate for the holistic support of female athletes, and believes in using her platform to create change," Athleta wrote on Instagram
Felix's desire to lead this effort is inspired by her own experiences. In 2019, she worked with fellow Olympians Alysia Montaño and Kara Goucher to pen a New York Times op-ed that detailed the lack of support they received from prior brand sponsors while pregnant. Felix said that her pay dropped by 30% and there was little to no guaranteed pay if her performance dropped during her pregnancy.
After giving birth to her daughter, Cammy, Felix formed a partnership with Athleta. Throughout her negotiation with the company, she made sure that the brand would support her and other athletes if they were to get pregnant.
"They get that I am a whole person beyond the track," Felix told Fast Company.
"In fact, part of my contract with Athleta includes provisions for Cammy to join me whenever I am competing."
Felix plans to make her daughter proud as she competes in her fifth Summer Olympic Games later this month in Tokyo. She will participate in the 400-meter dash and 4x400 meter relay.