We're kicking things off at the track, as IAAF World Championships wrapped up this past weekend so I've got track on the brain. Pretty soon I'm sure I'll be taken over by hockey and figure skating and bobsledding and speed skating... I'm a little bit excited about the start of winter sports season. Can you tell?
+ If you had to take a guess, who would you think is the most successful U.S. track and field athlete at world championships? Someone like Carl Lewis or Michael Johnson, right? WELL, that was true until last week. As of the 2015 world championships, the most decorated American athlete is none other than Allyson Felix, with NINE gold medals and 13 overall. And she's not even tied with anyone; she stands alone at the top. Step aside, fellas! (She also was the second woman ever to win three gold medals at a single world championship, which she did in 2007, and is the first woman to win three world championship titles in the 200m.)
+ Allyson is a three-time Olympian and medaled at least once at each of her three Games; silver in the 200m in 2004, silver in the 200m and gold in the 4x400m relay in 2008, and gold in the 200m and both relays in 2012. In other words: she's only getting better.
+ Do you want to hear something crazy? At this year's worlds, Allyson didn't even run the 200m (her bread-and-butter event). She ran the 400m instead, just to challenge herself and see how well she could do... and she won gold. Y'know, casually. In an ideal world she would've ran the 200m-400m double, but the timing didn't work out and she had to pick one. That's how it's looking for Rio 2016 as well, but she hasn't been shy about expressing her hope that the schedule gets changed. So if you see Allyson running the double next summer, know that it's because she's important enough that the schedulers literally rearranged things for her.
+ Allyson was only 18 at her first Olympics so, even though Rio 2016 will be her fourth Games, she's still only 29. Her silver medal-winning time in 2004 was good enough to set a World Junior record and at the 2005 world championships, she became the youngest-ever gold medalist in the women's 200m. Ummmmmm, child prodigy? (Yes, child prodigy. She didn't start running track until her freshman year of high school, so she made her first Olympic team, what, four years later?)
+ When she was in high school, her teammates nicknamed her Chicken Legs because she was so skinny. Yet she could still deadlift 270 pounds. (As a fellow chicken-legged individual myself, I'm so here for this.)
BASICALLY, Allyson Felix is the biggest BAMF on the track and don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise!