Track star Allyson Felix certainly has her priorities in order. Ahead of her first race at the Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday, she has made it clear that her most important role is that of a mother to her 2-year-old daughter, Camryn.
In a new NBC video, the five-time Olympian stood on stage and recited a powerful, passionate letter to "my sweet baby girl," Cammy.
"I had you after four Olympic games, six gold medals, three silver," she said. "Yet my greatest accomplishment is you."
She continued: "Do you know what they said after I had you? They said I'd retire, that I was too old to complete, that I couldn't get my body back in shape, but Cammy, here I am to prove them wrong."
Felix, who has spoken out about her traumatic birth experience, which included an emergency C-section and her newborn spending a month in neonatal intensive care, told Camryn to "never, ever underestimate the power of your voice" and recalled how she went to Congress ("Cammy, that's an important place") to stand up for what is right.
"From the terrifying moments of fighting for my life to the long days in the NICU, you made me stronger than I ever imagined," she said in the letter. "Even when your heart is aching, you're angry, exhausted, I pictured you growing up in this world, and fought to make it a better, more just place for you."
In fact, Felix advocated for a more just society in her latest Instagram post, which also included moving photos and videos from the days and weeks following Camryn's birth that showed the athlete's struggle to recover amid new motherhood: "When you see me on the track, I hope you understand my fight – as an athlete who was told I was too old, as a woman who was told to know my place, as a mother who wasn't sure I would live to raise my daughter."
She ended the spoken letter by reflecting on her many accomplishments — as well as what is to come.
"I've had a lot of titles, but by far, Mama is my favorite, and sweet girl, I want more medals," she said. "I deeply want you to see me standing on the top of that podium with gold around my neck and know that Mommy worked hard for it."