KANSAS CITY, Mo.—After running strong races in the 400-meter heats and semifinals this weekend, world class sprinter Allyson Felix will go for gold once more tonight at 9:45 p.m. ET. If victorious, she will add to her impressive total of six Olympic medals—three golds from the 2012 London Olympics alone.
But she knows that none of these medals—nor any of her accomplishments on the international sports stage—are for her glory. The glory goes to the One who created her to do amazing things in front of millions of people.
Felix is featured on the cover of the July/August issue of Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA, www.fca.org) Magazine, and also in a new, exclusive FCA video, where she says that her work with FCA allows her to leave her mark beyond track and field.
“It’s always been really great to be able to have an impact on young people’s lives, and sport has done so much for my life, and I think it goes hand-in-hand with your faith,” she says in the video. “I would love to leave a legacy—a feeling like I accomplished a lot on the track, but that I was someone who you could look at and say that they do have faith and that I tried to live my life for Christ. To me that’s important—that effort to try to follow His will.”
In the video, Felix also talks about growing up in a Christian home; her father is a pastor and her mom, a third-grade teacher. The close-knit family also includes her brother, Wes, who serves as her agent. Felix says her faith became her own while in college, when she had to decide whether she would live it out or not.
“My faith definitely helps me to stop being so results-driven,” she says. “You always want to look at a race and say, if I didn’t win, it wasn’t a success. But I think there’s so much more to it than that. The Lord has constantly revealed Himself to me throughout my career, ever since the beginning, ever since even coming into track.”
Last night, Felix was featured on NBC “Nightly News,” where she talked with Lester Holt about her road to the Olympics and her faith—and the segment was repeated on this morning’s NBC “Today Show” coverage in Rio. Holt reported that Felix’s “close and deeply spiritual family keeps her grounded.” Mother Marlean also recounted how she and her daughter have a tradition of praying together over the phone before races, if Mom can’t be there. That prayer, Felix told Holt, reminds her: “It’s bigger than track.”
Felix also told FCA that the road to the Olympics is always the most difficult part of the journey.
“The competing is the easy part,” says Felix. “Putting in the work—those hours on the track all year long—that’s where those medals are won. I’ve always enjoyed winning, and track and field is always something where, right away, you could tell who’s the best.”
After several months of adversity, including an ankle injury and the death of her grandfather, Felix keeps returning to the track with passion, saying that she’s always been “super competitive, no matter what it was.”
“Track is her life, but it’s not boring to hear her talk about it,” Wes told FCA for the magazine feature on his sister. “She’s got her priorities together. She has accomplished great things, but she doesn’t feel like she has to announce it or promote it, and that comes back to Christ being the center of her life.”
FCA has partnered with the YouVersion Bible reading app for the five-day “Road to Gold” devotional. Those interested can open YouVersion and search for “FCA” to find each day’s passages and follow along. Olympic standouts Tamika Catchings, Jordan Burroughs, Tobin Heath, David Boudia and Allyson Felix all contributed to the devotional.
Additionally, FCA has designed a 31-day “Road to Gold” prayer guide, available at www.fca.org/pray, which points the faithful to specific ways they can pray for coaches, athletes, chaplains and the games overall throughout the month of August. For example, for today, Day 15, “Pray for the officiating teams of each sport to have strength, alertness and courage to make the best calls.”