Track great Allyson Felix to discuss adversity, motherhood and innovation during ISU lecture

AMES, Iowa – The most decorated American track-and-field Olympian of all time will visit Iowa State University to deliver a lecture on inspiration and motherhood.

Allyson Felix, an 11-time Olympic medalist, mom, business owner and recently retired professional athlete, will deliver a lecture on Monday, March 27, at 8 p.m. in the Memorial Union Great Hall. Felix will share stories of adversity, triumph, advocacy and her innovative approach to entrepreneurship during her presentation and subsequent question-and-answer session. This event is free and open to the public.

Felix broke records while sprinting to bronze and gold medals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, her fifth and final Olympic games. She continued to make history during the games by sporting racing spikes created by her own company, the lifestyle and footwear brand Saysh, becoming the first track athlete to do so. Saysh not only aims to create an encouraging and supportive community for women, but it also designs and manufactures athletic-inspired footwear made for and by women. Running in her own spikes on the largest stage in the world, Felix proved she’s about more than just medals; she ran for change, equity and acceptance for women and girls everywhere.

Off the track, Felix is a fierce advocate for maternity rights. In 2019, she wrote an opinion piece for The New York Times that called out Nike, her former sponsor, for not providing guaranteed protections for pregnant athletes and new moms. The public reaction to the piece put pregnancy discrimination in athletics in the spotlight. More female athletes came to Felix’s side, offering up their stories. During the 2020 Olympics, Felix alongside her new sponsor Athleta, created the Power of She Fund: Child Care Grant, a fund to assist mom-athletes with childcare while competing at the games.

Felix resides in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter Camryn, who was born in 2018. Felix retired from competitive running in the summer of 2022 with 31 global medals at the Olympics and World Championships and titles as both a world record holder and a master’s world record holder.

This event is sponsored by the Student Innovation Center and the Committee on Lectures, which is funded by Student Government.