From Serena Williams to LeBron James, many athletes have transcended their impact and influence beyond the realm of sports and into activism; among them is track and field star, Allyson Felix. According to ESPN, the Olympian was recently named Sportswoman of the Year by the Women’s Sports Foundation for the strides she’s made both on and off the track.
The 18-time World Championship gold medalist—who holds six Olympic gold medals—has had nothing short of a triumphant year. Felix—who hails from California—won two medals during the Tokyo Games, making her the most awarded American in Olympic track and field history. As a strong advocate for women’s empowerment, Felix has spearheaded several impactful initiatives centered on equality in sports.
She teamed up with the apparel brand Athleta and the Women’s Sports Foundation to provide childcare grants for women competing at the Tokyo Olympics. “I do feel like it’s a privilege to speak on behalf of my community to fight for other women,” she told Highsnobiety. “So many women who came before me did the same so that I could have this opportunity, and I’ve always been taught, once you’re through the door, open that door for the next person.”
She was honored alongside professional volleyball player Jordan Larson. Four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka received the foundation’s Wilma Rudolph Courage Award for her advocacy work around social justice and mental health.
“The Women’s Sports Foundation is an ally, advocate and catalyst for girls and women to reach their highest potential in sport and life,” legendary tennis player Billie Jean King, who founded the Women’s Sports Foundation, said in a statement. “I am inspired by this incredible group of honorees and proud to recognize their record-setting and glass-shattering achievements and encouraged by the girls around the globe who are boldly blazing new paths.”